Andy Murray: ‘Wimbledon in 2017 makes me still believe I can do well here’

·3-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Hobbling to within touching distance of the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2017 has given Andy Murray hope he can still enjoy a good run on his return to the singles draw.

Murray was virtually playing on one leg as he lost out in five sets to Sam Querrey the last time he was in the singles draw four years ago, which eventually paved the way for his hip surgery.

Next week he returns to the venue that has defined his career with two Wimbledon titles and the first of two Olympic golds on the same surface.

Looking back to 2017, Murray said: “That’s something when I speak to my team and stuff about that Wimbledon, we laugh about it today because I don’t know how I did that.

“That was one of my better achievements to make the quarters that year and get close to the semis. Probably one of the reasons why I still feel like I can do well.

“I’m in good shape and stuff. I was in less pain at Queen’s last week than I was in 2017. I think I moved relatively well so that’s a positive.”

Murray was victorious on his grasscourt return at Queen’s against Benoit Paire at the start of last week – his first competitive singles match in three months - before losing out to eventual champion Matteo Berrettini.

And despite his relative ring rust, Murray says his experience on grass, as well as last season’s grasscourt season effectively being erased by Covid, means he has an edge over other rivals in the men’s draw.

“I think I can do well,” he said ahead of facing No24 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili. “I don’t think there are that many guys who are unbelievably comfortable on the grass – so that plays in my favour. And obviously a lot of the younger guys didn’t get the opportunity to play on it last year.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“So, I practised with someone like Jannik Sinner [at Queen’s] – he’s played four matches on grass in his life because he didn’t play juniors and he didn’t play last year so that’s something that will work in my favour hopefully. But we’ll just need to see how it all plays out.”

Expectations are low on Murray making a run into the second week in light of his lack of tournament play, particularly in five-set matches.

And while he has no intention of this being a Wimbledon farewell, he said he intended to take more time to appreciate the tournament than in previous seasons.

“I don’t want it to be my last Wimbledon,” he said. “That’s not my plan. I’m not going to Wimbledon thinking I’m saying goodbye. I want to keep going and I want to keep playing.

“I think often I kind of got into a zone the week before Wimbledon. I was always very stressed but I always tunnel vision in the build-up to it and I maybe didn’t appreciate that week as much.

“I wasn’t present enough, I was always thinking about the tournament and going far and trying to win the event and everything rather than just enjoying it a little bit more. I’ll obviously try to do that.”

Andy Murray is an ambassador and investor in HALO Hydration which is now available in the UK at HALOHydration.com

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