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Andy Murray is contemplating a rest ahead of French Open

Andy Murray is pondering his participation in the Italian Open after winning a breakthrough Masters 1000 title at the weekend in Madrid.

Murray's comprehensive 6-3 6-2 defeat of Spanish ace Rafael Nadal knocked the king of clay down to seventh on the ATP list, his lowest position in a decade.

Murray and his team are due to discuss his options after winning his first two clay titles at Munich and Madrid in the space of seven days last week, with a decision on his participation and second-round start against Jeremy Chardy of France due today.

The third-ranked Scot could not have asked for a better French Open preparation and might not want to risk either injury or fatigue with Roland Garros starting in 13 days.

It's a different story completely for Nadal, who desperately needs matches and confidence after going down in front of his home public to Murray in a Madrid final which did not even extend to 90 minutes.

Nadal insisted in defeat that despite his loss, he feels his tennis is on the right path even though he hasn't won a spring clay title.

"I'm already thinking in Rome, it's an important change. You change from playing with altitude to no altitude there," Nadal said.

"I'll try to have a good week in Rome - and by a good week, that does not mean only taking victory. That means to do things well through the different days. Doing things well every single day, that's a good week."

Britain's Heather Watson, meanwhile, reached the second round of the Italian Open by triumphing 6-3 6-1 over Roberta Vinci.

Belfast Telegraph


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