Andy Murray admitted a change of tactics had been key as he claimed his first win over Rafael Nadal on clay to win the Madrid Masters.
Just six days after winning his first ever clay court title at the Munich Open, Murray proved his form once again as he defeated King of Clay Nadal 6-3, 6-2.
Home favourite Nadal was aiming for a record fifth win in Madrid and had reached Sunday’s final without dropping a single set.
But Murray was no match for his opponent, setting the tone early when he won 14 of the first 16 points to establish a 3-0 lead.
The first set duly arrived for the Scot, and while Nadal briefly threatened to hit back, Murray sealed the win to lift his first Masters title on clay.
“I thought I played a very good match, I made very few errors and I changed the height of the ball extremely well which I think is part of the reason why he was mistiming a few of the shots, especially towards the end of the match,” said Murray.
“I used the second serve into the forehand a lot which I haven’t really done against him on the clay before and that worked well.
“I dealt with all the nervy moments that I had in the match pretty well. When I had the break point at beginning of the second set and I hit the drive volley into the tape, I responded well the next few points and managed to get the break there.
“From my side it was a very good performance, I’m sure Rafa feels like he could have played better but I couldn’t have done much more.”
Murray’s recent tournament wins have also proved perfect preparation for the forthcoming French Open which starts on May 19.
The 27-year-old has twice reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros although Murray was taking a cautious approach to his chances.
“I have played well at Roland Garros in the past. I’ve played two semi-finals there, a couple of quarter-final as well,” he added.
"I’ve pushed Rafa a few times on the clay, in Monte Carlo and in Rome last year. This result gives me confidence.
“By no means would I feel like I would go into the French as one of the favourites but if I play like that, and the way I have for the last couple of weeks, then it will give me an opportunity and that’s really all you can ask for these days with the players that are around.
“You can’t win every event but if you prepare as best you can and give yourself opportunities, then hopefully one of them will go your way.”
© Sportsbeat 2015