Andy Murray will hope to plough through his deepening slump, with the Roma Masters third-round victim plotting his escape after his second clay defeat in three matches.
The world number five has not been the same player since losing the Australian Open final three months ago to Roger Federer. His loss in Rome to David Ferrer, came after a week of hard training on clay in Barcelona which he had hoped would cure his mental block.
But despite going down, the Scot says he won’t go into panic mode by trying for a wild card into events set for next week in Belgrade and Estoril. Instead, it’s back to the practise court.
“You’ve got to stick to a plan,” said Murray. “This week I just felt so much better than I did in Monte Carlo (opening-round loss) because I was able to play and practice and get into shape.
“Now I have another week of hard training and hard practice. I think that will be more beneficial to go and play another tournament.
“It’s a long stretch coming up with the French Open and Wimbledon and obviously I don’t want to take time off but a couple of days just to get your body right again, then you work hard again for a week to get ready for Madrid (starting May 10).” Murray believes that the only thing that can help him is the confidence that comes from winning.
“I’m a little bit disappointed but I’m also happy with the way I hit the ball. If I keep this up then I think I will do pretty good in a tournament soon.”