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Murray: Early defeat in Miami could lead to clay-court success

Andy Murray believes his early exit from the Miami Masters may benefit his clay-court season, after enabling him to get two weeks of practice on his least favourite surface.

Murray has failed to win a set since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final, going out early at Rotterdam, Indian Wells and Miami. "Because I didn't do well in Miami, I was able to get two weeks of practice on the clay," said Murray (above) yesterday.

The British world No 4 has never won a title on clay. His best run was reaching the French Open quarter-finals in 2009.

"It's the surface I haven't done as well on as the other guys, like Rafa [Nadal], Roger [Federer] or Novak," Murray said. "I want to give myself a shot of doing well. It's not just a part of the season I want to get through and not worry about the results."

Murray begins his clay season in the Monte Carlo Masters against Radek Stepanek today. The Czech beat Marcos Baghdatis 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 yesterday.