Wimbledon 2013: Andy Murray wary of second round opponent Lu Yen-hsun
The British number one had little trouble in the first round
Tuesday 25 June 2013
Andy Murray is confident he will not be caught off guard by the latest threat to his Wimbledon dream - because the man standing in his way inflicted one of the Scot's most agonising defeats.
Next up for Murray tomorrow is a second-round match against Chinese Taipei's Lu Yen-hsun, who beat British number two James Ward in his opener, thus quashing the prospect of a rare home battle.
Murray first played Lu five years ago in the opening round of the Beijing Olympics, and the loss is one that has stayed in his mind.
That he flopped in Beijing and did not contribute to the team haul of medals was one of the driving factors behind his performances in London, where he came away with gold in the singles and silver with Laura Robson in mixed doubles.
"I know quite a lot about him," Murray said. "I lost to him in the Olympics in 2008 in Beijing. It was a very tough loss for me. I learnt a lot from that match.
"I think I've only played him once more. I played him earlier this year in Indian Wells."
On that occasion in the Californian desert, Murray won for the loss of just five games, and he starts tomorrow as a clear favourite, not that he sees the match as anything approaching a formality.
"He's made the quarters before," said Murray. "He's beaten Roddick here. He plays well on grass. So I'll need to be ready."
It was three years ago that Lu reached the last eight at Wimbledon, his best performance in a grand slam.
Unlike Murray, the 29-year-old does not come under intense scrutiny for his every performance.
Murray has seen his life off court, never mind his tennis, watched closely ever since he emerged eight years ago as the natural successor to Tim Henman as Britain's number one.
Now, with an Olympic title and the US Open behind him, he is recognised wherever he goes.
Given he prefers to protect his private life, Murray needed a lot of persuading to take part in the BBC documentary about him that aired on the eve of Wimbledon.
The hour-long programme featured interview segments between Sue Barker and Murray and included him talking about the Dunblane school tragedy publicly for the first time.
The Scot is shy and shuns the limelight away from the tennis court, which has certainly made it more difficult for sections of the British public to warm to him.
But after his Wimbledon tears last year and starring role in the Olympics, it seems that is slowly changing.
Murray said of the documentary, dubbed 'The Man Behind The Racquet: "I probably got asked to do it about a year ago, and I said no for about seven, eight months I think. I wasn't that comfortable with the idea.
"But the people that were in charge of it were very, very professional. They weren't intrusive at all. I know Sue well, too. So I felt comfortable speaking to her, even though I cry every time I speak to her.
"I was told not to watch it. But a lot of people spoke to me about it. I think it went over well. So that's good."
Instead of watching the programme, Murray relaxed before his opening match yesterday against Benjamin Becker by watching 'Mock the Week'.
The Scot was in the audience for the BBC comedy panel show after his Wimbledon final loss last year and was tucked up in bed last night watching another episode following his 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory over Becker.
That win provided the perfect start for Murray to a campaign he hopes will end with a first Wimbledon title a week on Sunday.
The 26-year-old's result was overshadowed yesterday by a shock first-round defeat for Rafael Nadal, which Murray knew all about because the score popped up on the scoreboard on Centre Court at the changes of ends.
The crowd reacted more to that than to Murray's comfortable progress, but the Scot is well used to such scenarios and did not find it distracting.
"Almost every single tournament you play, the same thing happens," he said. "That's just something that you have to deal with.
"It's not very difficult to do. I'd say it's harder if you play in the semi-finals and you watch or see the match beforehand."
Nadal refused to blame the defeat on knee problems but he certainly appeared far from fully healthy and, with the gruelling hard-court season to come, there is concern about whether he will take another extended break.
Nadal did not play again until February after last year's Wimbledon, where he lost in the second round to Lukas Rosol.
Murray, though, thinks the Spaniard's lack of grass-court preparation was the key factor in his loss and backed his friend to come back strongly.
The Scot said in his BBC column: "I'm sure there will be people writing Rafa off left, right and centre because he lost in the first round, but that happens sometimes. He'll be back.
"I've no idea how bad his knee is and whether it affected him, but I'm sure the thing he found really difficult was that this year he's played predominantly on clay."
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