Great Britain's Andy Murray described his upcoming French Open clash against Stan Wawrinka as a "very tough" one as he recalled the "brutal" match they played at Roland Garros in a 2017. Back in 2017, Wawrinka edged out Murray in a five-setter that lasted almost five hours to reach the French Open final.
Murray, a former world No. 1, hasn't played at the French Open since losing to Wawrinka in the semifinal three years ago. "Obviously it’s an amusing draw. It’s actually the first time I’ve watched the draw in the last 10 years.
We’ve got this group chat with a bunch of the guys and they sent a link through to it," Murray told the Herald Scotland. “Obviously a very tough match. That match I played against Stan a few years ago was a brutal one.
I kind of knew something was up before the (Kei) Nishikori match there (in the quarter-finals). “I didn’t know that it was that bad but then at the end of the Stan match, in the fifth set I was struggling to push up on my serve and moving to my forehand, and I never felt the same after that match”.
Murray insists he has to be realistic
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, claims he is entering the French Open without too much expectations and pressure. But the Briton admits beating Wawrinka could be a positive boost and he could build from there.
"I have to be realistic,” Murray said. “I’ve practised for 10 days on clay in three-and-a-half years and it’s normally been a surface that has not been my preferred surface. “I’ve played well on it and had good wins on it but it’s always been a surface that’s been harder for me to adjust to than the other ones, maybe doesn’t suit my game as well as the grass and the hard courts.
"I need to be realistic as well and not expect too much from myself but go out there and enjoy playing at the French Open again, and getting to play against Stan again is brilliant. “In terms of what I expect to do in the tournament, it probably would have been nicer to play someone different at the beginning to potentially build your way into the tournament but, the positive is, you win against Stan in the first round, it can open things up or make you feel much better as well. So we’ll see what happens on Sunday”.