This content was published 10 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.
Facing Rafael Nadal on clay is such a frightening proposition that even his rivals are running scared. The Spanish left hander has reached seven finals out of seven since his return from injury and Andy Murray, world number three, looks on at his record with considerable admiration. Fortunately for Murray he will have to do something that he has not done before if he is to trouble Nadal, reach a final on clay. That is not an easy feat for Murray who admits clay surfaces do not come easy to him. “Some things I feel more comfortable with than a couple of years ago but I have had decent results and do I have to wait and see how the next few weeks but it takes me about two – threes weeks to feel comfortable,” he says. “Clay is not a surface I grew up on and its natural to spend more time and it takes me a few weeks to get used to it. “Rafa has been very impressive. His record on clay is incredible. On that surface he is so ahead of the rest of the pack and so, after not playing for a while, his level has dropped. Now that he has played more and more, he is getting back to that level but even if he hasn’t played, his level is a long way ahead of the rest of the pack. Its very impressive his consistency and its interesting to see if he can maintain this.” Murray is not the only player to pay tribute to Nadal, Novak Djokovic, who the Spaniard beat in last year’s final also has nice things to say. “Rafa has not played for six or seven months but now with seven finals its amazing and he’s not the first player to do this,” Djokovic, who had a similar run of success in 2011, jokes. The Serb has been struggling with an ankle injury but he is sure he is over the worst. “I feel better and the ankle is not bothering me,” he says. “I try not to think about it as I know that I did not have any big injury in my career. I am already slowly starting to release the protection for my ankle and its more stable and there is no pain and I’m confident in the next few weeks to play well.”