There is no reason why they shouldn't be beating me – Murray challenges Battle of the Brits rivals

Omnisport

Andy Murray is not expecting to claim the top prize in the Battle of the Brits tournament, but he has issued a warning to his fellow competitors. 

Murray, along with his brother Jamie and six other players, including British number one Dan Evans, will take part in the six-day charity event, which is to be played behind closed doors at the National Tennis Centre, starting on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old will play his first match in seven months when he faces Liam Broady on the opening day, having not featured since the Davis Cup Finals in November due to a pelvic injury.

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Though the professional tour is still suspended due to coronavirus, with a restart scheduled for August, Murray is relishing the opportunity to go up against the best Britain has to offer.

And while he is under no illusions as to his chances heading into the event, Murray has warned his rivals they must also step up their games.

"Right now I feel pretty good because I've had more training under my belt, more practice, whereas in March I'd only been practising for four or five weeks since I'd had the issues in November or December," Murray wrote in a column for BBC Sport.

"Going into this week's tournament, I have played one match since October and no matches in the past seven months. Obviously I have a metal hip which has slowed me down a bit, and I'm the second-oldest player in the draw as well.

"The guys in the Whatsapp chat think that I'm just playing my chances down but everything I've been saying is true. All these guys are fit, young and were all competing at the beginning of the year.

"All of them have been beating me in practice too – I've won literally one practice set in the past three weeks since I've been practising with all of them.

"So there is no reason why they shouldn't be beating me when the matches start, but we will see! It is always a bit different when the cameras are on."

Murray also praised youngster Jack Draper, though warned the 18-year-old must now back up some promising displays in practice with impressive performances on the big stage.

"It will be good fun. Everyone has been chatting a lot, Liam Broady in particular. But Dan Evans thinks he is going to win for sure, as does Jack," Murray said.

"As an 18-year-old, he has been practising well, but he's been doing a lot of talking. When the tournament gets closer, it becomes very real and you need to be able to back it up.

"He's playing against guys who have been playing very high-level tennis for a while and it is not easy. It will be really interesting to see how everyone deals with it."

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