The best performance on clay in Andy Murray’s clay career wasn’t enough yesterday evening, as Rafael Nadal beat him in straight sets to make it to the final of the French Open.
Nadal beat the Scot 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in three hours and 17 minutes to set up a dream final with Roger Federer, but there was no doubt that he showed the world that he could compete against the very best. It’s just a shame for his supporters that Nadal is probably the best ever clay court player, and that he was playing with an ankle injury.
‘Right now I'm very disappointed,’ Murray said. ‘But five, six weeks ago, if someone said, semis of the French, playing good tennis again, I would have taken that. It's been my best French Open, so I've improved on this surface. Until today I didn't feel like I had played that well at this tournament. So that's a good thing.
‘He plays very well on the break points. He always has done. He has his patterns of play and I think on this surface, as well, it's the way he plays on the great points.
‘It's a lot harder as the person that's returning against him to hit one big shot and win the rally. You need to really work it well. He normally puts in a high percentage of first serves. He varies where he's serving on the break points well. Then he looks to dictate the points with his forehand.’