If the best way to deal with falling off a bicycle is to climb back on it immediately then Andy Murray will be pedalling into the Real Club de Tenis next week for the latest stop on the clay-court circuit. The Scot had not been planning to play in Barcelona, but following his early exit from this week's Monte Carlo Masters he may request a wild card. Even if he does not compete there Murray will practise next week in the Catalan capital, where he trained as a teenager.
Murray's commitments here were completed yesterday with his defeat alongside Ross Hutchins to Bob and Mike Bryan, though the Britons were far from disgraced in losing 6-7, 6-2, 10-2 to the game's leading doubles pair. The world No 4 now has to work out a strategy for the rest of the clay-court season, the highlights of which are two more Masters events, in Rome and Madrid, and next month's French Open.
What is clear is that there will be no question of Murray going into tournaments with anything less than full-blooded commitment. In the wake of his defeat here to Philipp Kohlschreiber – his third successive loss – Murray admitted that he had spoken to his coaches, Miles Maclagan and Alex Corretja, in Indian Wells last month about the importance of not focusing his energies just on Grand Slam tournaments, even though they remain his overriding priority.
"I can still play great tennis in the Masters Series and try to win every match that I play in," Murray said. "That's what I need to be focused on and that's what we talked about after Indian Wells, because I felt that I was a little bit flat there and the adrenalin wasn't there."
He added: "The Grand Slams are the four peaks of the year where you want to be playing your best tennis and I think I achieved that in Australia. Since then it's not been particularly good but a lot in sport – especially in tennis – can change from week to week."
Rafael Nadal booked his place in today's quarter-finals by thrashing Germany's Michael Berrer. He will meet Juan Carlos Ferrero.Reuse content