Murray switched on for Wimbledon
There has been an unhealthy amount of gloom hovering around Andy Murray in recent weeks but thankfully for the British number one Wimbledon provides the perfect stage for him to switch on his A game.
The Scottish world number four suffered a crushing defeat to Tomas Berdych at the French Open last month on a dank and dark Parisian evening then last week he lost to American Mardy Fish at Queen's Club in a match interrupted by fading light.
Visibility will not be a factor at Wimbledon, however, where Murray christened the new Centre Court roof and lights in spectacular fashion last year when the he beat Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the tournament's first late-night thriller.
Murray looked poised to reach the 2009 final before being ambushed by an inspired Andy Roddick in the semi-finals, meaning Britain's wait for a first men's winner at Wimbledon since 1936 was extended by at least another 12 months.
The 23-year-old will again arrive carrying his nation's hopes on his shoulders as one of only two British men in the draw, but worryingly he is still struggling to rediscover the form that took him to this year's Australian Open final.
Murray hopes things are about to click into place.
"I haven't been playing my best lately but the game is there," Murray, who warmed up with an exhibition match against Russian Mikhail Youzhny on Thursday, said.
"My expectations are as high as normal. Whether everybody thinks I'm going to win or thinks I'm going to lose, I'm going to try my best to win the tournament.
"I have a chance of doing it if I play very well. It's going to be difficult, so I'll put pressure on myself to perform. But normally when I put pressure on myself, I play my best tennis.
"I'd like to feel better. Hopefully come Wimbledon I'll be playing better and I'll get to spend a lot of time at home in front of home support."
Murray has been talked up as a potential grand slam champion by some of the game's great names, three-times Wimbledon champion John McEnroe chief amongst them.
However, the longer he has to wait, chances are a new crop of emerging talent will shake up the established order. This leaves Murray, who was a runner-up at the U.S. Open in 2008, knowing that he needs to convert one of his chances soon.
That creates it's own pressure, according to McEnroe.
"I can totally relate to what he's going through. And he's got more pressure in a way, because he hasn't broken through yet," McEnroe, who will be spending the next two weeks working as a BBC pundit, said.
"There is more anxiety in his case because of what goes on in Britain. Everyone wants it so bad. He has been going through this for years already. You have a legitimate contender. Each year it grows and it gets that much worse."
One good omen for Murray is that in each of his four appearances at Wimbledon he has improved.
In 2005 as a gangly teenager he made the third round, in 2006 it was the last 16 and in 2008 he was stopped in the quarter-finals by Rafael Nadal before last year Roddick tripped him up in the semis.
With a decent draw and a bit of luck, Murray has every chance of going at least one step further.
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
Why Manchester City were willing to fork out $500m on stake in MLS
Manchester City coach in waiting Manuel Pellegrini: Inside the mind of anti-Mancini
Champions League final: Biggest German invasion since the fifth century as Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich: 50 things you need to know about the Champions League final
Champions League Final: Can Jürgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund stop the Bayern Munich machine?
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 3 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.