Andy Murray feels like he's capable of winning the Madrid Masters this week despite his poor start to the clay-court season.
Murray has been outstanding on hard courts this year, reaching the Australian Open final and winning the Miami Masters but after setting such high standards in the first three months of the year, his start to the European clay-court swing was a bit of a damp squib.
Murray has made no secret of his desire to do better on the clay this year, especially under the guidance of three-time French Open champion Ivan Lendl and so all eyes were on him in Monte Carlo last month but he was terrible, completely outplayed in the third round by Stanislas Wawrinka.
Nevertheless, after another fortnight of practise, Murray believes he's now ready to contend on the dirt.
“I feel like every time I go into tournaments, I'm capable of winning. I think the chances of me winning tournaments vary depending on the surface,” he told the media. “But on grass and hard courts, I've played very well over the last year. Really since Miami last year, I've had good results on the hard courts. And the grass I obviously enjoy playing on as well. The clay has been still the most challenging surface for me, but I've played some good matches and beaten some tough players.”
And he believes that rather than competing regularly on clay as in previous years, the extra bit of practise he's put in could make all the difference.
“Practice is important for me on this surface more than most because I need to get used to the movements again, patterns of play that I use on this surface, which is different to the other courts,” he said. “I need to get used to playing points again on this surface, because there are things that you do on the clay that don't necessarily work on other surfaces, and things that work on other courts don't work so well on the clay."