Murray focusing on clay challenge not Nadal

Andy Murray could meet Rafael Nadal in the third round of this week's Masters Series tournament here, but the Scot is looking no further ahead than his opening match today against Juan Martin del Potro. "I've not won too many matches on clay and I've never won a match in Rome before," Murray pointed out yesterday. "I'm looking to win my first match and I'm not worrying about Nadal."

While Nadal was enjoying his 103rd win in his last 104 matches on clay, beating David Ferrer to claim the title in Barcelona yesterday, Murray was on the practice court, having taken two days off after suffering a slight groin injury playing doubles in Spain. The British No 1 faces a tricky opponent in Del Potro, who claimed a significant scalp last week with victory over Igor Andreev.

This afternoon's winner will meet Stanislas Wawrinka or Marat Safin. Murray has beaten Wawrinka twice this year but has played Safin only once before, losing in three sets in Cincinnati three years ago. Andy Roddick and James Blake, never at their best on clay, are also in the lower half of the draw. Roger Federer has a harder-looking task in the top section, with Ferrer and Novak Djokovic his scheduled opponents in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.

In Barcelona, Nadal held off a stirring fightback from Ferrer to beat his fellow Spaniard 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 yesterday and become the first man to win the Barcelona Open in four consecutive years.

The top seed romped through the first set but Ferrer hit back and Nadal had to dig deep to clinch his 25th career title, making it back-to-back tournament wins after his triumph in the Monte Carlo Masters.

Nadal tore through Ferrer in the first set but the second seed went on the attack himself in the second set and deservedly pulled level. In the deciding set, after breaking Ferrer in the second game, Nadal eased to victory in two hours, 14 minutes.

In Munich, second seed Fernando Gonzalez won the Munich Open with a 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 victory over Italy's Simone Bolelli yesterday. Bolelli, who upset top seed Paul-Henri Mathieu to reach the final, recovered from losing the first set 7-4 on the tiebreak to level the match by taking the second.

The unseeded Italian kept fighting but fell a crucial break behind at 2-3 in the deciding set. He then missed break-point chances and Gonzalez held firm to clinch the match.

Results, Digest, page 37 Nadal: clay court master, Independent website

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
Arts and Entertainment
Season three of 'House of Cards' will be returning later this month

Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
books...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower