Quick-change Murray working to acclimate to Madrid

Andy Murray was working on Tuesday to make a one-day turnaround from slow, heavy conditions in Munich to the high-altitude, faster-bouncing clay of the Spanish capital in order to be ready for an opening challenge at the Madrid Masters.

The third-ranked Scot arrived after winning his first clay title in Munich in a delayed Monday final, but was facing a race against time to adjust to the totally different courts of Madrid’s Caja Magica.

“(Winning on Munich clay) is obviously a positive for me, it was a goal that I had for this year,” said Murray, who can boast of only a trio of quarter-final placings since Madrid changed to clay in 2009.

Murray beat German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the three-hour German final and could run into his opponent in the second round on Wednesday should Kohlschreiber defeat qualifier Alejandro Fall in the first round.

“It was an extremely tough match and a dramatic finish. That always makes it a little bit nicer,” Murray said of his success. “This gives me a little bit more confidence obviously with the French Open just a few weeks to go.

“It’s nice to win events at any level. I hope I can have a good run at one of the next two events, either here or Rome, and get myself ready for the French.”

Murray’s Munich win also marked a standout first week with new coach Jonas Bjorkman, with the experienced Swede coming aboard to pick up the team slack due to the pregnancy of groundbreaking female coach Amelie Mauresmo.

“There were a lot of rain delays, but the positives were that we also got to spend quite a lot of time at the site getting to know each other and him getting to know the team well too,” Murray said of his opening week with Bjorkman.

Murray was heading quickly to the practice courts for an acclimatising hit-out on the Madrid clay.

“Conditions last week were very different to what they are here. Obviously I think a little bit more altitude here. But it’s been very warm. Last week it was very cold a lot of the days and raining.

“It’s going to be a tricky turnaround.”

In first-round play, tenth seed Grigor Dimitrov advanced when Donald Young retired trailing 6-4, 3-0.

The seeded French pair of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils advanced comfortably, with number 12 Tsonga beating Lukas Rosol 7-5, 6-3 and 13th-seeded Gael Monfils crushing Viktor Troicki 6-2, 6-0.

Estoril finalist Nick Kyrgios beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-2, 6-3 to set up a match with top seed Roger Federer.

In women’s matches at the ATP-WTA tournament, holder Maria Sharapova beat Mariana Duque 6-1, 6-2 and began moving into position for a possible return to the number two rankings she lost through a second-round Stuttgart exit last month.

The Russian needs to reach the Madrid final to replace Simon Halep on second after the Romanian was sent out in the first round at the weekend.

But five-time Grand Slam winner Sharapova is not concerned with the details.

“I face the ranking questions every single week obviously because ranking is a big part of the sport. It’s not my main purpose and my main goal.

“If I’m not ready to beat someone towards the later stage of a tournament, then I’m not ready to beat them from the very beginning. My goal is to win championships.”

Petra Kvitova, the 2011 champion and fourth seed, advanced to the third round over American CoCo Vandeweghe 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

Victoria Azarenka, losing finalist to the Czech here four years ago, beat Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia 6-3, 6-3.

That victory moved the former number one into a confrontation with top seed Serena Williams, with the challenger having won two of their last five matches dating to early 2013.

Ana Ivanovic, seeded seventh, beat Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-4 while 14th seed Karolina Pliskova and number 15 Sara Errani both lost.


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