Andy Murray is determined to show he ‘is still one of the best grass court players in the world’ at Wimbledon as he marks the 10-year anniversary of the moment that defines his career.
The build-up to action at SW19 has seen Murray celebrated just as much as his old adversary Novak Djokovic, perhaps the greatest indicator of the esteem he is still held in within the men’s game.
Friday will mark a decade since he beat Djokovic to win the first of his two Wimbledon crowns and while a repeat may appear unlikely, he has never been one to rule himself out of contention.
Physically he may be a step off where he once was but there is no questioning that mentally he remains as engaged and ambitious as ever.
“Regardless of how I was feeling coming in, I would always do my best to be ready for this one,” he said.
“Even if there were some physical issues, niggles, I’d always give my best.
“If I was to play Novak and I lost in five sets, I can’t say I would walk away from the tournament and be really disappointed if I performed how I still think that I can.
“That’s what I want to do at this tournament. I want to go out there and perform at a level that I’m happy with.
“I feel like I’m in a really good position to do that. I have the experience at this tournament.
“I’ve played on the big courts here more than most. There’s only one player in the draw that has more experience of playing here than me, which is Novak.
“I don’t know this for sure, but I certainly will be one of the only players that’s won against him here. I need to use that to my advantage and use my experience to my advantage.
“I believe I’m one of the best grass court players in the world, and I’m physically feeling really good. I have prepared well, so there’s no reason I can’t have a good tournament.”
At the age of 36, Murray is aware that no matter how hard he works physically, father time ultimately waits for no man.
He has continued to defy the odds since the Australian Open all-but retired him on court four years ago, reminding everyone of his greatness with dramatic wins over Matteo Berrettini and Thanasi Kokkinakis in Melbourne this January.
He insists that this Wimbledon, which he begins against fellow Brit Ryan Peniston on Tuesday, will not be the final stop on his farewell tour but there are hints that it may be time to celebrate him being on court more than ever.
He added: “I started to think about it [retirement] actually during the Australian Open this year, after the matches I was having, thinking: ‘this maybe isn’t that good for me.’
“I want to finish on my terms when I’m fit and healthy and still competing at a good level. I would like to finish in that way rather than it being an injury.
“I know you can’t control that entirely, but I do feel like I’ve still got a period of time left where I’m going to be able to dedicate the physical work and the training on the court to allow me to still perform at the highest level.
“But that can’t go on forever, unfortunately.”
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