Andy Murray expects to be close to his old form in time for the French Open this year.
The British No. 1, who has been absent from Roland Garros since 2012, is confident ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season, as he took part in a thrilling three-set battle against the world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, which he lost late in the third set.
While Murray may not have left Rome victirous, he takes a variety of positives from the match-up, as he is aware of Nadal’s legacy on the red clay.
“I would have liked to have won because I had the opportunities and I started the match better than him,” Murray told the ATP Tour’s official website. “I felt going into the French (Open) I would be playing good tennis.
Murray also stated that he thinks people have not respected the severity of his injury nor have they fully grasped how long it would take to heal from from back surgery and return to his prior form.
“I don’t feel like people have respected the severity of having back surgery; it takes time and I feel I am getting closer to where I want to be. (This) was the best I hit the ball and best I felt physically since the surgery. I was expecting to start playing well around this time, so that’s pleasing. I was disappointed with the game I played at 4-2 in the third, though. Against him you don’t get a load of chances and he finished the game incredibly well.
“Physically he was stronger than me at the end, but it was a good match.”
Now that he is pleased he is meeting his initial expectations following surgery, Murray is looking to tweak a few more aspects of his game over the next few week and finalize his preparation for the French Open later in the month.
“I feel like now I am hitting the ball cleanly, there are a few things that I can do better and I am going to work on it for the next 10 days,” he added. “To be honest, playing Rafa is quite a big challenge but I want to play those matches, want to be very competitive in those matches. I expect to feel better in 10 days. I trained hard for the last couple of weeks before Madrid and here.
“Now I’ll take few days rest and be ready for the French Open.”