Monday, June 8, 2009

Murray headlines the field in Queen's, preps for Wimbledon

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As the tennis season makes an abrupt switch to grass most players are either in Halle or London preparing for Wimbledon. With Rafael Nadal out of Queen's with knee problems, world number 3, Andy Murray, headlines the field at the Queen's club this year, where the Scotsman, Andy Roddick, Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils are the top 4 seeds.

Of course, with the hopes of 60 million Brits weighing on him, Murray sure seems to have a tougher task than most players, dealing with all that added pressure, as he will attempt to become the first Brit since Fred Perry in 1936, to lift the Wimbledon trophy on home ground.

“Anyone who watches sport will understand you can’t win every single match,” Murray told DEUCE.

“Unfortunately, in tennis there are no draws – even Manchester United have probably lost five or six games out of something like 60 this season. I’ll try my best at Wimbledon and I’ll have a decent shot if I play well, but I won’t view it as a failure if I don’t win it."

“I think I’m closer than I was a year ago – obviously the US Open was a good indicator of that. It might take time, but too bad. It’s not an easy thing to do and I’ve got maybe the two best players of all time playing just now. You’re probably going to have to beat one of them – maybe both of them – if you want to win a slam.”

The 22-year-old is drawn in Queen's to possibly face Mardy Fish, Feliciano Lopez or Michael LLodra in the quarters, Monfils or Marat Safin in the semis, while Simon, Marin Cilic, James Blake and Roddick all await on the other side of the draw as potential final opponents.

Last year Murray reached the quarters in Queen's where he was forced to withdraw from his match against Roddick, before he went to Wimbledon and reached the quarters there for the very first time, where he bowed out to eventual champion, Nadal, after edging out Richard Gasquet in an incredible 5-set thriller, where he came back from 2 sets down.

Ever since then, Murray has shot up the rankings to a current number 3, has reached the US Open final and the quarters in Roland Garros (his least favorite surface) and also managed to tally up an impressive 6-2 record lead over Roger Federer, one of the toughest players he might have to beat, to grab that elusive Wimbledon title.

I personally believe Murray has an excellent chance this year on grass, especially that looking at his record at Wimbledon, his results have been in a constant rise as he reached the 3rd round in 2005, the 4th round in 2006, followed by his quarterfinal showing in 2008 (he missed the event in 2007).

Murray, who had a 1st round bye, opens his campaign in Queen's tomorrow against Andreas Seppi of Italy.

You can read the full DEUCE article here and can watch some pre-Queen's interviews below:

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