Murray confident ahead of Madrid Open

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray remains confident he will one day win a grand slam title, something that has eluded a British male tennis player in singles competition since Fred Perry in 1936.

Murray has won 16 singles titles so far in his career but has yet to get his hands on one of the big four, although he has come close on several occasions.



He was runner-up in the last two Australian Opens, while he was also a beaten finalist in the 2008 US Open and was a semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2009 and 2010.



The world number four has not had the best of times in singles since being beaten by Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final in January, failing to win even a single set in suffering immediate exits in Rotterdam, Indian Wells and Miami, but he looked to be getting back on track in Monte Carlo where he reached the semi-finals last month.



Murray, who lost to eventual winner Rafael Nadal in that match, missed the subsequent Barcelona Open due to an elbow problem that had affected him in Monaco but he appears to be over that and is heading into this week's Madrid Open in confident mood - not least about his chances of one day winning a grand slam.



"I feel good, I had a couple of bad months but I feel great again, I feel like I can win grand slams, I think I will win one," he said.



"I practice and train very hard to give myself the chance to do that. I don't mind whether people are talking about me or not, that's not really important. I believe in myself, I believe in the guys that I work with and I'm sure I'll get there."



The next grand slam on the schedule is the French Open later this month.



Murray has only previously got as far as the quarter-finals on one occasion at Roland Garros, while none of his 16 tournament wins have come on clay.



However, the 23-year-old Scot, who started his clay-court season this year with the impressive showing in Monaco and will continue it in Madrid this week, insists he is at home playing on the surface.



"I love playing on clay, I think it's one of my best surfaces even though my results haven't been as consistent," he said.



"I've played very few tournaments on clay compared to hard courts and indoors and I think if I played more on clay my results would be similar.



"It's a surface I need a bit of time to practice on, it's not a surface that comes naturally to me because it's not a surface that I play on in 10 and a half months of the year.



"But I like it, I think it suits my game well and I just have to be patient and work hard on it and sort of accept that at the beginning of the clay court season I may not be feeling my best but that I can improve and by the French Open be playing good tennis, which I have done the last few years."



Murray, who is in doubles action with his brother Jamie against Spanish duo Marc Lopez and Marcel Granollers, received a bye in the first round in the singles, where he is seeded fourth.



His opponent in the second round will be Frenchman Gilles Simon, who defeated Croatian Ivan Ljubicic 7-5 7-6 (8/6) today.



Murray has won five of his six meetings with Simon - including in the 2008 Madrid final, which was played on hard court, and also in Monte Carlo last month.

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