In common with plenty of other British tennis players, Andy Murray did not enjoy the best of success on clay surfaces earlier on in his career. But he is now looking most impressive on that particular style of court.
A semi-final spot at the Foro Italico was wrapped up courtesy of a 6-1 7-5 victory over David Goffin, who was unable to replicate his form in the 6-0 6-0 third round defeat of Tomas Berdych.
Murray will now aim for a first ever final appearance in Rome when he takes on Lucas Pouille on Saturday.
“I think I am getting rewarded now for the work that I put in over the years on this surface,” he said as he looks to make a second clay court final in the space of seven days after losing to Novak Djokovic in Madrid. “It took me time to feel comfortable on it. But I didn’t give up and say: ‘you know what? This isn’t my surface.’
“I didn’t expect to be doing as well as I can over the last couple of years but I deserve it because I have worked hard for it.”
Murray at times made it look easy against Goffin. However it was anything but with a swirling wind making life a nightmare for both players.
“The conditions were very, very difficult,” he said. “The wind was changing direction all the time and clay was getting blown off court. It’s not always easy to move when it was like that. Some points there was no clay on the court so it was like a hard court.”