French Open 2014: Andy Murray sets Wimbledon sights on Rafael Nadal after his humbling in Paris

 

tennis correspondent

On the basis that the best thing you can do after falling off your bike is to get back on it at the first opportunity, Andy Murray would love to meet Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

The Scot did not so much take a tumble here at the French Open as find himself crushed by a Spanish juggernaut. The perfect way to ease the pain of Friday's three-set thrashing in the semi-finals would be to beat Nadal at the All England Club, where competition begins a fortnight tomorrow.

"I would like to play him on the grass for sure," Murray said as he licked his wounds following his 100-minute ordeal in the Paris sunshine. "That would mean going deep into the tournament [at Wimbledon]. Someone told me I would be seeded in the top four now so that would mean getting to the semi or the final. Yes, I would like to play him soon."

Although Nadal has won all three of their Wimbledon meetings, twice in the semi-finals and once in the quarter-finals, Murray last played the Spaniard there in 2011. Since then, Murray has won Olympic gold at the All England Club and ended Britain's 77-year wait for a Wimbledon men's singles champion.

Nadal's forehand, struck with heavy top spin, is not such a potent weapon on grass because of the lower bounce of the ball compared with clay. "It's completely different because it is impossible for the ball to bounce that high," Murray said when asked to compare playing Nadal on the two surfaces. "It is also easier to get free points on your serve and grass favours the person who hits the flatter ball. That is why it is completely different."

The 6-3 6-2 6-1 defeat to Nadal here was the heaviest of Murray's Grand Slam career. "I hope over the next two or three days I will able to look back on a positive tournament," Murray said. "It's just disappointing right now."

The Scot equalled his best performance at Roland Garros by reaching the semi-finals, but just as important was the fact that he came through the tournament without any physical issues. Murray missed the French Open last year after aggravating a back injury which required surgery in September.

"Clay is the surface I had the most problems on with my back," he said. "The grass is fairly straightforward when I've been having problems with my back. That's a positive and I know my back is going to be fine for the next few weeks.

"I thought I did a fairly good job this week of recovering from the matches and dealing with the five-setters. I had not played any for quite a long time, since Wimbledon in fact. It's very different playing best of five sets."

Murray is expected to climb three places to No 5 in tomorrow's updated world rankings list. Because Wimbledon gives extra weight to results on grass, the Scot looks likely to be seeded No 4, which would mean that he could not face Nadal or Novak Djokovic until the semi-finals.

Before starting the defence of his Wimbledon title, Murray will set about retaining his crown at this week's Aegon Championships at Queen's Club. The tournament starts tomorrow, though Murray is unlikely to play his first match before Wednesday.

"The better you do at the French Open, the harder Queen's becomes," Murray said. "You really only have a couple of days to get used to the grass again and get ready for it. It will be a tough time for me but hopefully when Wimbledon comes around I will have had enough time on the grass and will have had a few matches at Queen's so I can get ready for a fun few weeks."

While Nadal and Roger Federer begin their grass-court campaigns at this week's tournament in the German town of Halle, the Aegon Championships have attracted a field that includes Stanislas Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Grigor Dimitrov, Ernests Gulbis and Lleyton Hewitt.

After a first-round bye, Murray will play either France's Paul-Henri Mathieu or Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene. Thereafter, the Scot is seeded to meet Radek Stepanek in the third round, Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals and Berdych in the semi-finals.

Wawrinka and Dimitrov are the top seeds in the other half of the draw. The three Britons with wild cards have all avoided seeds in the first round.

Dan Evans, James Ward and Dan Cox face Austria's Jurgen Melzer, Slovenia's Blaz Rola and France's Adrian Mannarino respectively.

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable