Murray beat Thiem to advance to the second round
The last time Andy Murray played a tennis match on clay was at Roland Garros in 2020. The last time he won one was in June 2017. say until Monday. Playing against former 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem, Murray won the first round match 6-3 6-4.
Murray originally planned to skip the clay season but ended up accepting a wildcard for Madrid in April. “I barely played on it [clay] over the last five years really,” Murray said. “I did four weeks of training, so I felt more comfortable than usual.”
Thiem, who is the former world number. 3, returns after suffering a wrist injury that sidelined him for eight months. It was his fourth game of the year, and the course is not easy. Thiem is yet to win one since starting again in March and is now ranked 91st in the world.
“I thought Dominic was playing well at times, but obviously he just started playing again too,” Murray said.
Thiem indeed showed signs of brilliance in Monday’s game, touching an impressive backhand pass in the first set. But in the end, Thiem finished with 33 unforced errors, 24 of which came from the forehand, and Murray maxed on that.
“He obviously had the injury up front and also had a few setbacks along the way,” Murray said. “Mentally, it will take time to feel confident, fully accelerating on the ball. I had a wrist injury when I was 20 and it was very difficult. It took me a while to feel comfortable on the forehand side again.
In the second round, Murray will face Denis Shapovalov, Canada’s 14th seed. Shapovalov beat Murray last year at Wimbledon.