sport

Murray upbeat despite ankle woe

British number one Andy Murray is in good spirits despite carrying an ankle injury at the French Open.

Murray would have expected the most important day of his French Open campaign to be spent on the court rather than in his Champs Elysees apartment.

But the world number four has found himself in a race against time to be fit for Monday's fourth-round clash with Viktor Troicki after rolling his right ankle midway through his win over Michael Berrer at Roland Garros on Saturday.

Murray's initial fears that he may not be able even to start the match have eased, with the Scot more positive last night and expected to practise later on Sunday.

But there is no question his apparently straightforward path to the semi-finals has now become significantly more difficult, with 15th seed Troicki unlikely to be as generous as Berrer if the Briton is still struggling with his movement.

As hapless as the German was, admitting afterwards he had let his sympathy for Murray affect his game, the 24-year-old executed his tactic of going for winners and shortening the points extremely well.

Murray said: "It's quite easy when something like that happens to feel sorry for yourself and think, 'Oh, I can't believe this has happened', in a match that I was in pretty decent control of at the time.

"I just wanted to make sure that I gave it the best I could. I hit the ball very well. I actually served well considering I wasn't really using my legs at all. I was still serving over 200 kilometres an hour, which is good."

Murray's record against Troicki offers little cause for alarm, with the Serbian never coming close to even winning a set in their three previous meetings, the most recent of which came in the third round of Wimbledon in 2009.

The 25-year-old has improved a lot since then, though, climbing to a high of 15th in the world rankings, and Murray said: "He's definitely playing better than he was in previous years. He's very solid from both sides, he's got a big first serve and he moves very well.

"He's a very, very consistent player but you can throw in some variety, some different shots, some slices, some higher balls and throw off his rhythm a little bit. He struggled a bit with that in the past when I played him."

Some more positive news for Murray is that Troicki is unlikely to be feeling 100% himself having struggled with the effects of food poisoning since Thursday. He withdrew from a doubles match yesterday and admitted he was not feeling at all well.

The Serbian was part of the team that helped his country win their first Davis Cup title last year, securing the crucial point by beating France's Michael Llodra in the deciding rubber.

And, like team-mate Novak Djokovic, Troicki has carried the high of that triumph with him into 2011.

He said: "It definitely gave me a lot of confidence and helped me a lot. Since the Davis Cup I believe in myself even more, and I think other players also are looking at me differently. Every player who experiences this feeling, it helps him a lot in his career."

Troicki believes facing Murray on clay gives him a chance of ending his losing run against the Scot, and if that means taking advantage of his injury then so be it.

He added: "We've never played on clay and I think Murray's weakest court is a clay court. If I play well, I think I have a chance.

"If he's injured and cannot run, I'm going to take advantage of that. I want to win my match. He would also do the same if I had the same problem. We are all professionals, so we try to win. Sometimes it's ugly, but that's our job."