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His long term weakness may well be his second serve but Andy Murray feels he is making progress in resolving that issue and believes the hard yards on the practise courts helped him claim victory against the tricky David Nalbandian.
Murray was on big trouble trailing 3-1 in the final set on his 25th birthday, before turning a corner and going on to clinch the match 7-5. Nalbandian’s impressive returning made life difficult for the Brit as coach Ivan Lendl starts to work his influence.
“My second serve is something I’ve been working on this year, but over the last weeks I’ve had a chance to practise it since starting with Ivan,” said Murray. “So I’ve focused on it a lot, but I haven’t been doing more of it for the last week or so. In the first set and up until the end of the second I was serving well which was important to get right because he’s a great returner, one of the best returners.
“I played close to the baseline. It was a strange match in some ways but it was a good level. I didn’t necessarily feel it was more tactical than when you’re playing other top players. When he plays well, which he did today in patches today, actually, he is exceptional, he’s a great player. That’s why it was challenging so I had to make adjustments to my game a little bit but so did he. He’s a smart player, he can play all the shots and, he plays drop shots and he volleys well. He’s a very tough guy to play.”
Murray next faces Richard Gasquet or home wild card Paolo Lorenzo, but he was just happy to get back to playing after a week off with a back injury.
“After the last couple of weeks which have been tough, I feel so happy to win,” added Murray. “There’s obviously things I need to work on but for instance last week, Roger in the 2nd round or his first match you know he won 6 in the 3rd, and then went on to win the tournament. You know that happens when you haven’t been playing as much and you haven’t hit the ball and you’re messy and not perfect on the court. For me, it’s good to get a win against a tough opponent and to get another match under my belt before Paris.”