Courier: Nadal is so strong
Jim Courier thinks it is just as well Andy Murray did not make the French Open semi-finals as he stood no chance of beating Rafael Nadal.
The 25-year-old saw his quest for glory thwarted at the quarter-final stage on Wednesday when he suffered a 6-4 6-7 (3/7) 6-3 6-2 defeat to David Ferrer.
The result denied Murray another shot at Nadal, who beat the Scot in last year's final four before going on to take his sixth crown in Paris.
Four-time grand slam winner Courier, who forms part of ITV's French Open coverage, knows Roland Garros well having twice won the men's title there in the early 90s.
When asked what Murray would have to do to beat Nadal on clay, he said: "Nadal would have to get injured, probably. It is hard to see any other way for him to beat him.
"Rafa is looking like he is the greatest clay court player we've ever seen in men's tennis.
"I just don't see any way for Andy to have won that match as much as I would want it to be competitive, as much as I'd like to see him find a way to break through.
"I do think Andy's a multiple grand slam winner here at some stage and I think [coach Ivan] Lendl can help him immensely.
"But this is his toughest surface, he would be going up against a guy who is great on any surface but has a pretty outsized advantage here at Roland Garros.
"The physicality Rafa brings to the game and over the best of five sets here, I just think it would be a very difficult game for Andy to get any free points. Rafa's rough, he is mentally tough and confident."
While Courier was quick to dismiss Murray's chances against Nadal on clay, he reiterated his belief that a maiden championship is not far off for the British number one.
Murray has twice reached the final of the Australian Open and finished runner-up in the 2008 US Open, but this week suffered his earliest grand slam exit for almost two years.
"I think if he gets one, the floodgates will open up," Courier said.
"He and Novak Djokovic were at the same place. They were both stifled behind Fed (Roger Federer) and Rafa [Nadal] for many years.
"Novak broke through and got one [grand slam], made some changes and then he has kind of had an incredible run. Confidence is the key.
"Novak shored up his weaknesses, got his forehand to be a weapon instead of a liability and put his serve back together because it had fallen apart like Humpty Dumpty.
"He figured out how to make those liabilities weapons and that's where I think Lendl can help with the two real deficiencies that Andy has had at the critical moment - a lack of a clear-cut offensive weapon and being too cautious, too conservative."
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