Andy Murray has decided to begin his clay court season earlier than planned at the Monte Carlo Masters. The British No 1 has been given a wild card for the tournament, which begins on April 11. Murray has struggled for form since reaching the Australian Open final in January and fell at the first hurdle in the defence of his Miami Masters title last week, subsequently admitting he is having difficulty with the mental side of his game. The early exit has given him more time to practise on clay and this may well have been the crucial factor in his decision to play in Monaco.
The 22-year-old will hope he can repeat last year's showing, when he reached the semi-finals of a clay court event for the first time before losing to five-time champion Rafael Nadal. Monte Carlo is not a mandatory event this year and the world No 1 Roger Federer has opted to skip it as he builds up to the defence of his French Open title. * PA Sport