Andy Murray's Strong Showing in Rome Will Lead to Successful 2014 French Open

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIMay 25, 2014

ROME, ITALY - MAY 16:  Andy Murray of Great Britain plays a backhand in his match against Rafael Nadal of Spain during day six of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia tennis 2014 on May 16, 2014 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Things are beginning to look up for Andy Murray.

Earlier this year, Murray was making headlines due to his split with coach Ivan Lendl rather than his usual stellar play.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Under Lendl, Murray underwent the best run of his young career, including victories at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Now, Murray enters the French Open without Lendl in this corner for the first time in over two years.

That won't matter due to the way Murray's been playing of late.

Despite having not won a title this year, Murray has been in top form recently. At Rome, he was able to go deep into the tournament, losing to the dangerous Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals.

Murray looked fantastic on clay, leading 4-2 over Nadal in the deciding set before the world's No. 1 mounted a brilliant comeback.

Even though Murray failed to advance, his performance was extremely promising.

Live Tennis tweeted the question on everyone's mind following his showing in Rome:

After the match, Murray spoke about his play during a press conference, via BBC Sport.

Said Murray, "I'm getting close to getting back to where I want to be, and that's pleasing with a couple of big months ahead. Tonight was probably the best I've hit the ball for a while, and the best I've felt physically since the [back] surgery [in September]."

That kind of confidence can go a long way, and he hasn't lost it in the days leading up to the French Open.

During an interview with Russell Fuller of BBC Sport, Murray continued to show faith in his form.

He stated, "I feel ready to have a good run here. Rome was a big step in the right direction and it's up to me to maintain that consistency from now through until the end of the year, because that's what's been missing and lacking so far."

Murray was absolutely right. His consistency has been lacking this year. However, confidence is the best remedy to cure a fluctuating form.

Not only will Murray's confidence in his play lead to a successful French Open run but so will his brilliance on clay.

In 2014, Murray has won 71 percent of his first-serve points, saved 65 percent of break points and won 76 percent of services games on clay.

He's already been hard at work, practicing for his run at the French Open, courtesy of Sports Illustrated Beyond the Baseline's Instagram account:

Looking at Murray's draw, he has a solid chance to make a deep run at the French Open. He's likely to face Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals which could lead to a rematch against Nadal in the semifinals should Murray advance.

BBC Tennis tweeted Murray's expected path:

Murray will have plenty of time to build his momentum in Paris until he faces one of the world's top players.

With a solid stroke, plenty of momentum and a great deal of confidence behind him, the sky is the limit for Murray at the French Open.