SPO_230428 ANDY MURRAY-1682681117605
Britain's Andy Murray in action during the first round of the Madrid Open on Thursday. Image Credit: Reuters

Madrid: Andy Murray said he hopes to play at Roland Garros for the first time since 2020 next month after crashing out in the first round of the Madrid Open on Thursday.

The three-time Grand Slam champion has only played the French Open once since reaching the 2017 semi-finals, losing in the first round to Stan Wawrinka three years ago.

But he said he could return to the Parisian clay, after losing 6-2, 7-6 (9/7) to Italian qualifier Andrea Vavassori in Madrid.

Fit and healthy

“I would like to play, just purely because I don’t know if I’ll get another opportunity to play again,” Murray said on returning to the French Open, where he was runner-up in 2016.

“Whilst I feel fit and healthy, I would like to give it a go.

“I also have ambitions of competing for Wimbledon titles and that sort of stuff, and I know that sitting here today that probably doesn’t sound realistic, but I do believe that that’s a possibility. I obviously want to do the right thing there.

“It’s impossible to say what the right thing to do is, but obviously it’s a Grand Slam. I would like the opportunity to play.”

Positive signs

World No 164 Vavassori turfed out the former world No 1 in straight sets in the Spanish capital.

Murray was also knocked out in the first round at the Monte Carlo Masters a fortnight ago, describing it as “demoralising” and “awful”.

“Second set started to get into it a bit more. Was playing I think a bit better, some positive signs,” Murray said on Thursday.

“Some of the errors are hard to explain.”

First time falling in first hurdle

Vavassori broke world No 52 Murray twice to take a 4-0 lead in the first set before serving out, with his opponent unable to force a single break point.

The 27-year-old broke again for 2-1 in the second set but fired into the net to allow his opponent back in to level at 4-4, with Murray celebrating furiously.

Vavassori committed a double fault at match point in the tiebreak and then hit the net with another shot, before Murray saved a third match point on serve.

The Briton saved a fourth too, but the Italian clinched victory at the fifth time of asking when Murray erred badly at the net.

It is the first time two-time winner Murray has fallen at the first hurdle in Madrid in 12 appearances.