Queen's draw could leave Murray little time to hone game

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The Independent Online

Having spent the previous two months finding his feet again on clay, Andy Murray has been reacquainting himself with the idiosyncrasies of grass since his exit from the French Open 10 days ago. While Murray (pictured) has more experience of the surface than most, it is two years since the 21-year-old Scot played a tournament on grass, although last September's Davis Cup tie against Croatia at Wimbledon was a useful refresher course.

Murray, who has a bye in the first round of the Artois Championships which begin at Queen's Club today, missed the whole of last year's grass-court season with the wrist injury that wrecked his summer. He now has a fortnight in which to hone his game before the start of Wimbledon and will be keen to avoid the fate he suffered on his last appearance at Queen's, when he lost to Janko Tipsarevic in the first round two years ago.

Nevertheless, the British No 1 has happier memories of the tournament, which in 2005 provided him with his first victory as a senior. After beating Santiago Ventura, Murray went on to knock out Taylor Dent, the world No 30, before cramping in the final set against Thomas Johansson, the No 20.

This year's draw could hardly have been tougher for Murray. In the second round he is likely to play Sébastien Grosjean, twice a Wimbledon semi-finalist, although the 30-year-old Frenchman is not the force he was.

Dan Evans, one of Britain's most promising juniors, has been given a wild card and makes his debut against Belgium's Xavier Malisse.

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