Andy Murray relishing difficult Rafael Nadal test

Rafael Nadal Madrid Open

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Andy Murray knows he will have to play his best tennis if he is going to defeat home favourite Rafael Nadal in the final of the Madrid Open on Sunday evening.

The 27-year-old British number one has enjoyed success on clay already this season as he picked up his first ATP title on the surface in Munich last week.

Murray has continued his good form in the Spanish capital as he dominated Kei Nishikori throughout in Saturday’s semi-final to record a 6-3 6-4 victory over the fourth seed in an hour and 37 minutes.

The Scot claimed the win against the Japanese world number six will provide him with more confidence looking further ahead to the French Open, which gets under way on May 19 and Murray is 23.00 to win outright.

However his immediate target is to try and get the better of the ‘King of Clay’ Nadal later on Sunday with Murray knowing what he needs to do if he is going to win the title.

He said: “I’m aware it’s going to be incredibly difficult. Playing against him on clay in Spain is a big test. The crowd is incredibly pumped for him when he gets on the court so I’ll have to be there mentally and play a smart match.

“You need to play aggressive tennis but it’s important not to go for too much. It’s easy when you play against someone like Rafa on the clay or Novak on a hard court or Roger on grass to feel like you need to do too much almost. It’s important that you have good tactics and trust your shots.

“If I’m going to win I’m going to have to play really well.”

Murray is 3.40 to win the Madrid Open, while Nadal is 1.30.

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