Andy Murray admits he will have to overcome “one of the best players in the world” in Spain’s David Ferrer if he is to reach the French Open semi-final.
Murray takes on Ferrer in the last eight today, knowing he has never beaten the world number eight in any of their four previous meetings on clay.
Ferrer, who reached the final at Roland Garros in 2013, is fresh from a straight-sets demolition of Croatia’s Marin Cilic in the last 16 and Murray insists he will have to be at his very best to beat the Spaniard.
“It’s going to be a tough match because he’s one of the best players in the world,” Murray said.
“On this surface he’s for sure of one of the top four or five players in the world.
“Obviously the higher ranked players you play, the less opportunities they give you, the less mistakes they give you, especially in important moments. Someone who is more inexperienced may rush at certain moments or make bad decisions, that’s not something that David does.
“I’m going to have to work extremely hard in that match and be very patient and try to dictate the play as much as I can.”
The pair’s last match-up on clay came at the same stage of the French Open three years ago, when Ferrer edged through 6-4 6-7(3/7) 6-3 6-2.
Murray, however, is a different proposition these days and has won four out of their last five meetings on all surfaces.
“I’m sure both of us will have changed and probably improved since that time,” Murray said.
“I feel like I have a better understanding of how I need to play on this surface than I did back then probably.”
Ferrer said: “Murray is much more aggressive. When he uses the different shots he has to play, he’s one of the best players in the top three.
“In addition to his talent he’s more aware of what’s happening, not just on quick surfaces but also on clay. He’s much more composed and calm now.”