Andy Murray confirms he will play at Italian Open

Andy Murray
Murray is on a nine-match winning streak on clay this year
Italian Open: Murray v Chardy
Live commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra from 11:00 BST, Wednesday

Andy Murray will look to extend his clay-court winning streak at the Italian Open after confirming he will play in the tournament on Wednesday.

The Briton had considered skipping Rome to rest for the French Open, having won back-to-back titles in Munich and Madrid this month.

Murray, seeded third, will play Frenchman Jeremy Chardy on Wednesday.

Novak Djokovic returned with a 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 win over Nicolas Almagro on Tuesday after missing Madrid.

Murray claimed his first ever clay-court victory over Rafael Nadal to win the Madrid Masters on Sunday evening, then flew to Rome, where he practised twice on Tuesday before making his decision.

Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent
"Murray was genuinely undecided whether to stay in Rome when he came off the practice court late in the afternoon. He wanted to play, and Amelie Mauresmo thought it wise to contest some matches at sea level, having spent the last two weeks 500 metres above. But after winning both of those events in Munich and Madrid, his fitness team felt he may be better served by rest. Murray wants to take two or three days off before travelling to the French Open on Monday of next week so he is now in the awkward situation of wanting to play well - just not too well."

Between the two sessions, Murray told BBC Sport: "I would like to play. I feel good just now in terms of my game, and confident.

"I said it would be good for me to play matches at sea level after playing at altitude the last couple of weeks, but I also need to look a little bit further ahead with such big events just around the corner - Roland Garros and Wimbledon - and try to make the best decision."

The Scot, 27, also confirmed he will be working exclusively with coach Jonas Bjorkman from the end of Wimbledon until potentially the end of the year.

Murray began working with Amelie Mauresmo last June but the Frenchwoman is expecting her first child in August.

"Jonas is going to be with me after Wimbledon, just me and him through potentially right until the end of the year," said Murray.

"I think both of us are quite motivated to do that. I didn't get to spend too much time with Jonas so far but it's been a good start and I'll try to keep it up."

Murray's breakthrough on clay
Murray became just the fourth player to beat Nadal in a clay-court final in Madrid on Sunday, joining Djokovic (4 times), Roger Federer (2) and Horacio Zeballos (1).

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