• Murray works quietly on the clay in Monte Carlo

    4/24/13 3:55 AM | Johan Lindahl
    Murray works quietly on the clay in Monte Carlo Andy Murray has stayed behind at what is now a relatively quiet Monte Carlo country club to work for a few more days with coach Ivan Lendl to try and lift a sagging clay game.

    Murray was dropped from the world No. 2 ranking after his third-round loss last week against Stan Wawrinka in the principality.

    With only two warm-up chances at ATP Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Rome remaining before the May 26 start of Roland Garros, there is no time to waste for the Scot. Lendl believes that his pupil can turn the corner on a surface on which he should be comfortable after learning his game on the red dirt of Barcelona.

    But instead of playing this week's Barcelona Open headed by David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal, Murray has chosen to stay away from competition. But Lendl knows that making the switch to clay remains difficult for Murray.

    "I keep telling Andy that for him, the transition on to clay courts was as difficult as it was for me to switch to grass," the 53-year-old coach told London's Mail on Sunday. "It’s not a natural surface for Andy, so he has to be patient. In many ways, it’s a different game. It just takes him time to adjust, that’s all."

    Shortly after his crushing loss to Swiss Wawrinka, Murray defended his choice to not play again until Madrid in just under a fortnight. "As long as I get enough practise over the next week here, and afterwards, that will help me for the next six weeks or so.

    "I haven’t played on clay for ten-and-a-half months, and you need different tactics and movement. Every day I am here I’ll feel better on court." Murray's best clay showing was a surprise Paris semi-final in 2011, which he lost to Rafael Nadal.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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