Andy Murray says he hopes to gain quick revenge over Rafael Nadal by beating him at Wimbledon next month.
Murray returned to London yesterday with his tail between his legs after a humbling by world No 1 Nadal in the semi-finals of the French Open.
His 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 defeat was his heaviest at a Grand Slam event and Murray is keen to put things right at the first opportunity - although it would have to be at Wimbledon since Nadal is not playing in the Aegon Championships at London's Queen's Club, which begin tomorrow.
Loading article content
"I would like to play him on the grass for sure," Murray said. "That would mean going deep into the tournament. Someone told me I would be seeded in the top four now so that would mean getting to the semi or the final, so yes I would like to play him soon."
On a sun-baked day on the clay at Roland Garros on Friday, Nadal's heavily top-spun forehand was bouncing consistently over Murray's head. The Wimbledon champion admitted it was tough to control the ball but said should they meet on grass, he might have an advantage.
"It's completely different because it is impossible for the ball to bounce that high," he said. "It is also easier to get free points on your serve and grass favours the person who hits the flatter ball. That is why it is completely different."
Nine months after back surgery, Murray was pleased he was able to play two five-set matches and reach the last four on what is considered his worst surface. The 27-year-old also showed no signs of any more trouble with his back and he said he expected to be 100% going into Wimbledon.
"The grass is fairly straightforward [for his back]," he said. "That's a positive and I know my back is going to be fine for the next few weeks. I thought I did a fairly good job this week of recovering from the matches and dealing with the five-setters.
"I had not played any for quite a long time, well, since Wimbledon. It's very different playing best of five to three-setters so that is good."
Murray will be seeded third at Queen's behind Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych and though he is the defending champion, he warned that it may take him time to get up to speed as he changes surfaces.
"The thing is the better you do at the French Open, the harder Queen's becomes," he said. "You really only have a couple of days to get used to the grass again and get ready for it, so it will be a tough time for me.
"But hopefully when Wimbledon comes around I will have had enough time on the grass, I'll have had a few matches at Queen's and can then get ready for a fun few weeks."
Nadal may not make it to Queen's club, but new tournament director Ross Hutchins has assembled an impressive field for the traditional warm-up event.
In addition to Wawrinka, Berdych and his close friend Murray, Hutchins has gained highly-prized acceptances from Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, 2011 winner Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, four-times champion Lleyton Hewitt and recent French Open semi-finalist Ernests Gulbis. In arguably the most talented field in the history of the event, they are joined by Murray's fellow Brits Dan Cox, Dan Evans and James Ward.
Twelve months after Murray, Tim Henman, Ivan Lendl and Berdych staged a charity mixed doubles event to raise funds for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, the tournament will conclude with a similar, poignant event in honour of Elena Baltacha, the Kiev-born Scot who died recently of liver cancer.
Hutchins, whose non-Hodgkins lymphoma is in remission, and Murray will take part in a mixed doubles match, with similar events scheduled to take place at the Aegon Classic event in Birmingham and the Aegon International in Eastbourne.
Proceeds will be split between the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
o To donate, go to: www.justgiving.com/RallyForBally