Andy Murray is feeling increasingly positive about his form after cruising into the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters with a 6-2 6-0 thrashing of Milos Raonic.
Having come into the European clay-court season on the back of early exits in Indian Wells and Miami, Murray was forced to battle through his early matches in Monaco, but enjoyed the most routine of wins on Friday to set up a meeting with eight-time champion Rafael Nadal.
“I had a couple of tough weeks in the States and I haven’t played loads of tennis [since the Australian Open], so coming on to a new surface when you’re a little bit low on confidence and low on matches is difficult,” stated Murray.
“I’m just happy I managed to fight through the first couple of matches and now I feel a little more relaxed about where my game’s at.
“Hopefully I’ll continue to improve over the clay-court season and into a big summer.”
Murray is the highest-ranked player in the competition following Novak Djokovic’s surprise defeat to Jiri Vesely, but added: “For the guys in the bottom half, it doesn’t open up the draw.
“Obviously Novak is the best player in the world by a long way just now and his consistency over the last year has been incredible, so if you get into a final it’s a little bit easier if you’re not playing him, but I’ve still got to get there first.”
Nadal, meanwhile, also expressed satisfaction with his progress following a straight-sets win over Stan Wawrinka on Friday.
“I’m just happy with the way I am playing this week,” said the Spaniard. “Yesterday [I had] a great victory against Dominic [Thiem] and today against Stan. Two victories in a row against big opponents, that’s very positive.”
Looking ahead to his meeting with Murray, Nadal added: “He’s the number two player in the world, so I need to play my best if I want to have chances. I hope to be ready for it.”