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Page last updated at 11:22 GMT, Saturday, 29 May 2010 12:22 UK

Andy Murray warms to French Open task

French Open:
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris. Coverage: Live video streamed on BBC Sport website (UK only) and BBC red button; commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra; also live on Eurosport; live text commentary on BBC Sport website Details of BBC coverage

Andy Murray
Murray overcame Cypriot Marco Baghdatis in the previous round

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Roland Garros

Andy Murray is relishing another good run on the Roland Garros clay as he prepares to take on 15th seed Tomas Berdych in the fourth round of the French Open on Sunday.

Murray and Berdych are scheduled for the fourth and final match on Court Suzanne Lenglen at around 1600 BST, although more bad weather is predicted for Paris throughout the day.

The British number one, seeded fourth, will match last year's achievement of a quarter-final place with victory over the Czech, but he says no-one should be surprised by his success on the red dirt.

"I always loved to play on clay when I was younger," said the 23-year-old Scot. "I've said it many times, it's my favourite surface to play on even though my results haven't been as good.

"I feel like I can play well on clay, play very well on clay, it just takes me a bit more time to get used to the surface again. I love the tournament. It's probably the hardest physically to win because obviously there are a lot of long rallies, long points, and long matches.

"I enjoy coming here and it's very different for me than at the other Slams where I'm a lot more sure of myself, just because I know how to move well and how to play properly on those courts."

606: DEBATE
Mike H

Murray will face 24-year-old Berdych for the third time, but they have not played each other for four years so their record of one win apiece may not have much bearing on events on Sunday.

"I have not played him for a long time," stated Murray. "He's had some good results this year - in Miami, he played well in Monte Carlo. He obviously beat [John] Isner pretty comfortably here, so it's going to be tough.

"He's a big guy with a big serve. He hits the ball hard and flat. He takes a lot of risk. He plays low percentage tennis, maybe, but that's how he's always played.

"He doesn't feel uncomfortable going for his shots, so you don't probably have to run a lot. He's got a big serve, so he's a tough guy to break. I need to return well and that's kind of it. He's got a big game."

Berdych has been something of an underachiever on the biggest stage, his undoubted talent taking him to the fourth-round stage of a Grand Slam nine times before but only one quarter-final appearance resulting.

However, he insists that, if anything, he feels less pressure as the undoubted underdog against Murray, having reached his seeded position with three wins under his belt this week.

"Definitely it's more exciting than the pressure," said Berdych, "because so far these three matches were maybe with a little bit more pressure because I was I was seeded 15.

"Now I'm going to be in a different position against Andy, so I think it could be to my advantage. I'll try to profit from this and try to enjoy the match and do my best on the court, and we'll see."

Interview - British number one Andy Murray

Murray needed five sets to beat Richard Gasquet in the first round and four sets to beat Juan Ignacio Chela and Marcos Baghdatis in rounds two and three, and Berdych is aware of the challenge he faces.

"His game is he's really strong," stated the Czech. "He moves well on the court. He can read the game of his opponent and he's a really smart player. He can really find the weak spots, he can change the rhythm of the game, he can play something different. Then when he's a little bit down, he can bring really big serves.

"And he's a really strong guy, especially mentally. As we can see in the first round, he was two sets down. If he's not that good, he would never get to the position where he is right now."

And any suggestion that Murray might be feeling the effects of playing for four days out of five due to the rain-disrupted schedule were dismissed by the Briton.

"I feel fine just now," said Murray. "Obviously, I've had a couple of long matches, whereas last year I think I only dropped one set to get to the quarters. I've spent more time on court.

"I feel OK, and sometimes that can be a good thing. I'm hitting ball a lot cleaner than I was last year. I feel good and ready to fight the next round."



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see also
French Open day seven as it happened
29 May 10 |  Tennis
Patchy Murray puts out Baghdatis
28 May 10 |  Tennis
French Open day six as it happened
28 May 10 |  Tennis
French Open day six photos
28 May 10 |  Tennis
Murray eases past Chela in Paris
27 May 10 |  Tennis
Murray outlasts Gasquet in opener
24 May 10 |  Tennis
Grand slam men's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Grand slam women's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis


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