Murray conqueror predicts bright future
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:32
Fernando Gonzalez ended third seed Murray’s impressive run at the French Open at the quarter-final stage, with a four-set win over the British number one on Tuesday. The Chilean, though, has seen enough from Murray to predict an extremely bright future as the Scot looks to break the hegemony of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at the top of the rankings.
“Andy is number three in the world, and he’s only 21,” said the 12th seed Gonzalez. “He’s a really good player and he’s going to dominate the tour in the next (few) years.”
Gonzalez, whose booming forehand proved too much for Murray on Philippe Chatrier court, added: “I mean he’s dominating now – he won a couple of Masters Series events and he made the final at the US Open last year. The only thing he needs is time and to work a little bit. Just that.”
With world number four Novak Djokovic going out early at Roland Garros, Murray has consolidated his third position in the world rankings. But he is only looking upwards now.
He had a chance this week to oust Federer from second place but he would have had to win the title. Given he has not won a clay-court tournament so far in his career, that was always unlikely.
“I didn’t know the exact ins and outs of how I would have got there (to number two),” Murray said. “But it’s sometimes easy to wait for guys to lose and stop focusing on your own matches. I was just trying to win my own matches – I had the chance but obviously not now.”
Murray’s progress on the dirt in 2009 has been impressive nevertheless. He only broke through to his first quarter-final on clay seven weeks ago, in Monte Carlo where he eventually lost in the semis. Roland Garros was the first clay-court tournament in his career where he won four matches in a row.
Being coached by Alex Corretja, a runner-up at the French Open in 2001, during the clay-court season is paying handsome dividends and Gonzalez has urged Murray to maintain the partnership with the Spaniard.
“He has many things to learn from Alex,” said the experienced Gonzalez, who at 28 was the oldest of the eight quarter-finalists at Roland Garros this year. The best thing his coach had was patience so maybe (he should) try to be a little more patient. But he has a really good coach on his side.”