Andy Murray
Murray had not played competitively for a month Getty Images

Andy Murray is optimistic of being fit in time for the French Open as he continues to be hampered by an elbow injury ahead of facing Roger Federer in an exhibition match in Zurich. The world number one has not played competitively since early March and missed Great Britain's Davis Cup quarter-final defeat to France last weekend due to the fitness concern.

The 29-year-old has been unable to practise properly since being dumped out at Indian Wells by Vasek Pospisil last month, with his elbow injury prohibiting him from serving at maximum speed. Nevertheless, despite the injury Murray will fulfil a charity obligation with Federer in the Swiss city in The Match for Africa 3 – an initiative which supports thousands of children in the south of the continent.

Murray withdrew from the Miami Masters and was absent from the GB team which was thrashed by France in Rouen. A confirmed date for his return to action has not been announced but he is hopeful of playing in Monte Carlo this weekend before featuring at Roland Garros in May.

"I'm doing better, I've been practicing for the last four or five days," he told Eurosport. "I had the problem with my elbow but the good thing was I could do everything except serve.

"So the last four or five days I have started to serve a little bit. I'm not serving as fast as I would like yet but am hoping over the next five or six days I will be able to start serving like normal again. [I'll be back for the] French Open for sure, Monte Carlo I'm trying. I need to be patient with the elbow it could take a bit of time."

Davis Cup skipper Leon Smith indicated, when he omitted Murray from his team to face France, that the three-time grand slam champion hoped to be fit for the first major clay court event of the year located in the principality of Monaco. Murray has endured an otherwise frustrating year having been knocked-out of the Australian Open in the fourth round, with his injury plight only adding to his problems.