Murray eyes French Open titleComment on this story
London - Andy Murray rightly afforded himself some time for a swim by the beach in Miami after coming through a gruelling test of body and mind against David Ferrer to win the Sony Open on Sunday.
But the newly crowned world No 2 will not be resting on his laurels now that he has cemented his position as one of the game’s leading players.
The clay-court season begins for the Brit in Monte Carlo in two weeks and there is much work to be done, culminating in the French Open, which begins on Sunday, May 26.
Coming through such a physical slog against the tenacious Spanish No 4 was testament to the work and the hard yards that Murray puts in on and off the court for extended periods of the year on the Florida coast.
And now, opting to miss Great Britain’s Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group One tie against Russia in Coventry this weekend, Murray will remain in America as he hits the clay courts with coach Ivan Lendl to begin his preparations for an assault on the French Open title.
Murray acknowledges that it is his worst surface, but previous semi-final appearances in Paris, Rome and Monte Carlo show that he is indeed not quite as bad on clay as some may suggest.
Murray said: ‘I will focus on Monte Carlo now. I’ll take a few days off and then start my training on the clay courts around here. I’ll try to keep improving my clay-court game. I just need to serve better - it’s much easier to return on clay so I need to make sure that I serve well.’
Murray’s ascent to No 2 reflects the power shift at the top of the men’s game.
This is the first time since November 2003 that neither Roger Federer nor Rafael Nadal has occupied one of the top two spots.
Murray will have to defend his new ranking immediately in Monte Carlo and if he does not match his quarter-final run of last year, he would drop back to No 3 behind Federer once more.
And there is still a long way to go if he is to topple Serbian world No 1 Novak Djokovic, who is ahead in the rankings by 3 620 points.
However, for the time being Murray is relieved to have finally returned to No 2 for the first time since a four-week spell during August and September 2009.
The 25-year-old said: ‘I think just purely because I was getting asked about it quite a lot, it’s nice just to have been able to do it. So I don’t have to go into Monte Carlo, Madrid or Rome and be worrying or thinking about that.
‘For me, it doesn’t change a huge amount, but the fact that I’m moving up the rankings is a good sign.
‘I have been winning a lot of matches, and my consistency has been better over the last few months.
‘The rankings obviously reflect that. I will try to keep working hard during the clay events, and hopefully now I can go even higher.’