Andy Murray believes Rafael Nadal’s record on clay is one of the most impressive records in any sport and that he could have had chances to win the French Open had the Spaniard not been around.
Nadal has a staggering 93 per cent winning record on the red dirt, winning 318 matches and losing just 24 in his entire career, and the Mallorcan has lost just once in 67 clashes at the French Open – the only major played on clay – capturing nine titles there.
The red dirt is Murray’s least favourite surface – zero of his 31 titles have come on clay – but he has managed to reach the French Open semi-finals twice, losing both times to Nadal.
Asked whether he feels he can improve on the surface in order to try and win the French Open, Murray said: “It’s something I’d obviously love to try and do. When people talk about my clay court game - I made the semi-finals of the French Open two times and both times I lost to Rafa. If he wasn’t around I would have a chance normally against some of the other players.
“But he’s by far the best clay court player of all time. I don’t know if his record on that surface will ever be matched. It’s one of the most incredible records in all of sport.
“What he’s done at Roland Garros, Novak’s (Djokovic) obviously one of the best players to have played and if Rafa wasn’t around I’m sure he could have had a few French Opens. Roger only won one time and he can play amazing tennis on clay.
“So it’s been a tough era to win at the French Open because Rafa has completely dominated that event.
“But you never know if someone picks up an injury or whatever then I can have a better chance. I’ve improved my clay court game over the years and hopefully I can make a few more improvements this year again.”