Murray: Expectations for clay season are high despite injuries

Andy Murray is hopeful of achieving great things on clay in 2017 despite entering the season off the back of a lengthy injury lay-off.

Murray was forced out of the Miami Open a month ago with an elbow injury.

The world number one played Roger Federer last week in a charity match – that was his first taste of competitive tennis in close to four weeks.

This week will mark his full return to the game as he looks to win at the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time in his career.

The major concern has been how his elbow will hold up when he is serving at 100 percent.

However, Murray is confident that he is fit and ready to produce the goods in the clay court swing which started last week and finishes at Roland Garros.

"I was not optimistic after playing Roger in Zurich, my serve felt much slower than normal," the Scot said.

"But every day I was building up. Often the elbow can get sore if I've not served for a week or 10 days. But each day started to get better.

"That's what we had been hoping for. I had to take two or two and a half weeks off for it so I don't know which it was [the slow serve], the lack of serving or the injury.

"I would not be playing if I felt I was taking a risk. For the last two days, I've been serving normally.

"By the time of my match, I will have had five days of serving at the right speed. I feel fine now, even if the start of the year was a bit tough. I've been lucky with injuries.

"I have a lot of big events coming on and I'm looking forward to them. My clay expectations are very high."

Murray begins play in the second round on Tuesday or Wednesday after a bye, against either Tommy Robredo or Gilles Muller.