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Nadal inspires Murray to adapt

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:28

Murray is defending his title at the Madrid Open this week but, with the tournament being switched to a clay-court event, the Scot is realistic about his chances of retaining his crown on his less-favoured surface.

“The surface was obviously better for me last year, after losing my first match in Rome I just want to try and win my first match and take each match as they come,” said fourth-seeded Murray, who received a first-round bye.

“I’ve got a tricky draw, the conditions are different, so there is no use thinking about finals and semi-finals,” he added. “I don’t play on this surface well enough yet to think past my first match.”

Murray’s last match on clay saw him suffer a 1-6 6-3 7-5 defeat to Juan Monaco in the second round of the Rome Masters a fortnight ago, and all of his 11 career victories have come on hard courts – including last year’s Madrid Masters.

Murray is well aware that he needs to improve on the surface though and it is Nadal, who has been virtually unbeatable on clay, who is providing him with his determination.

Murray said: “Everything he’s done is pretty special. I think very few people would have thought he could have won Wimbledon and he’s been in the final three years in a row.

“I’m obviously impressed with what he has done on clay, but what he’s done on grass is a great motivation for me. I feel I can obviously get better on clay and learn how to play better and get onto the second week and go deep at the French Open.

“That’s why he’s so good. Every weakness he had when he joined the tour he’s always looking to improve, and even though when he’s number one in the world and so far in front in the rankings, you see him on the practice court and he’s always giving 110%.

“That for me is a motivation, to see someone who has been so successful and still trying to improve.”

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