Andy Murray believes he’s had the best preparation possible for the grass court season after a successful start to his Surbiton Trophy campaign on Monday, writes Oli Dickson Jefford.
It took just 58 minutes for a near-faultless Murray to dispatch Jurij Rodionov 6-2 6-1 on Centre Court, the first British grass court event of the season.
The two-time Wimbledon winner has had plenty of practice on the surface after choosing to miss most of the clay court season, and an encouraging display has fuelled hopes of a stellar summer.
“I have high expectations for myself and a lot of key goals and ambitions, which I talk about with my team regularly. I’ve trained hard, I feel good physically, grass is my best surface I feel, and I’ve prepared as best as I can for it,” he said.
“We’ll find out in a few weeks what the outcome is for it but the thing I can control is not the results and performances, but my preparation and attitude on court and my effort. I guarantee I’ll give 100% on that side of things to give myself the best chance to have a good run.
“If I can push myself up the rankings that will be positive, not just for Wimbledon but the rest of the year. I just want to be out there competing and hopefully my body holds up well.
“I felt good today. I’ve trained well the last few weeks and since Madrid got a lot of time on the grass.
“You’re always a little nervous coming out playing the first match on a different surface, and even though I played in Madrid I haven’t competed much in the last few months, but I thought I did well. I approached the match in the right way, attitude was fantastic and tennis was good.”
Monday’s match against Rodionov, in which he did not lose serve once, was a first in Surbiton for Murray since he was 17 and played at the event in 2004, retiring to Jimmy Wang in the opening round.
After disappointment on that occasion, the Scot is pleased to be back in south-west London 18 years later.
He said: “I didn’t remember that I had played here. I think I slipped and I hurt my groin. I don’t remember loads about it.
“I remember coming to watch my brother playing once against my old coach Jamie Delgado. I came to watch one of the matches here. It was around that time.
“We came and practised on Friday here and I think they’ve done a really great job with the courts. They were really easy to move on and really dry on Friday, which isn’t always the case.”
For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website.