Andy Murray isn’t in Paris this year, having withdrawn from the French Open to nurse a back injury and prepare for the grass season. He’s back in London and reportedly already hitting on the grass at the National Tennis Center in Roehampton. In a phone interview with ESPN on Monday, Murray said it was a difficult decision to skip the French Open, especially considering he had made the finals of the last three Slams.
Asked who he favored in the potential semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Murray tapped Nadal but believes the weather may give Djokovic a shot at the upset.
“I think if it heats up, if it’s warm, I take Rafa,” Murray said. “If it’s sort of rainy and damp and cold then that changes thing. It gives Novak, in my opinion, a much better chance of winning.
“I mean, Rafa in those hot conditions on the clay, I think he’s incredibly difficult to beat. He’s never really lost on those courts when he’s been 100 percent fit. I would say Rafa’s the favorite for that match and I would pick him to win regardless of the conditions but I think it’s a lot closer if the conditions are like they were when they stopped the final last year.”
As for the other side of the draw, Murray believes Roger Federer’s experience will get him into the final weekend.
“When he’s in that position he’s incredibly successful,” Murray said. “He has the experience on all the players and he can up his game in the biggest matches still, as he’s proved over and over again. Rafa’s still the favorite for me for the French Open for sure but I think Roger will be there or thereabouts at the end of the event.”
You can see Murray’s full interview here: