Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is hoping to draw inspiration from the age-defying feats of Rafa Nadal and Marin Cilic at the French Open as he seeks to build momentum ahead of the grasscourt major this month.
The 35-year-old, who skipped Roland Garros to preserve his fitness and prepare for Wimbledon, overcame Dutchman Gijs Brouwer 7-6(4) 7-6(3) to advance to the quarter-finals of the Surbiton Trophy Challenger event on Thursday.
Murray said he had one eye on events in Paris, where Nadal and Cilic will be in semi-final action later on Friday.
“I don’t know whether it is Rafa’s last run or not because he seems to be doing physically really well during the event, so I hope he is able to continue going for a while,” the Scot told reporters.
The Spaniard, who turned 36 on Friday, is bidding for a record-extending 14th crown on the Parisian clay.
Murray was equally impressed with former US Open champion Cilic, who has rolled back the years and emerged as a surprise contender in the French capital.
“Cilic as well, he is someone I grew up with in the juniors and played a lot with. He has just made the semis of the French for the first ever time at 33 years old and is playing really well,” he said.
“I can take some inspiration from those guys.”
Nadal faces third seed Alexander Zverev while Cilic goes up against the up-and-coming Casper Ruud.