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Page last updated at 11:17 GMT, Wednesday, 18 June 2008 12:17 UK

Murray 'should target last eight'

Wimbledon: Monday 23 June to Sunday 6 July
Coverage:
BBC TV, BBCi, Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website.

By Piers Newbery

Andy Murray and Tim Henman
Murray and Henman were Davis Cup team-mates last year

Tim Henman says reaching the quarter-finals would constitute a successful Wimbledon for Andy Murray.

Henman, who retired last September and will join the BBC commentary team at the All England Club, says the Scot's game is well suited to grass.

"You want to start off getting into the second week, that's the first objective," Henman told BBC Sport.

"But the last 16 is his best result in a Grand Slam so to try and improve on that would be a great result."

Murray, who has been seeded 12th for Wimbledon, pulled out of the Artois Championships at Queen's Club last week with a thumb injury but will be fit for Wimbledon.

You've just got to get the blinkers on and what's written and what's said is irrelevant

Tim Henman
"Fingers crossed, come Monday there aren't going to be any issues physically because he can play very, very well on grass," said Henman. "I think he's got a good chance."

Murray missed last year's Wimbledon through injury and his best effort there to date was a fourth-round place in 2006.

Since then, both Henman and Greg Rusedski have retired, leaving British number one Murray in the spotlight as the only realistic hope of a first British men's singles champion since Fred Perry in 1936.

And Henman believes the 21-year-old can withstand the pressure of an expectant public and media.

"It shouldn't make the difference between Andy playing well and playing badly," he said. "You've just got to get the blinkers on and what's written and what's said is irrelevant.

"It's sort of part of our culture. It was something that I got used to very quickly and I think likewise with Andy."

Murray has garnered more attention than usual this year after releasing his biography - something Henman does not plan to emulate.

"Well, it wouldn't be my choice but it's a choice," said Henman. "He's perfectly entitled to that but it just wasn't for me."

He added: "It's not wrong, it's just a decision and Andy's perfectly entitled to that.

606: DEBATE
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"And we need a bit of perspective. It's not for me but it's not the most controversial thing that's ever happened, it's a book."

The home crowd is certain to get behind Murray in the same way that 'Henmania' swept Britain during his predecessor's run to four Wimbledon semi-finals.

"I thrived in those conditions, first and foremost because it was great fun, unbelievable atmospheres," said Henman.

"I think Andy's similar, he's not someone who's going to be intimidated or suppressed by that. I think he can use it to his advantage and it's a big, big asset."




see also
Murray seeded 12th at Wimbledon
18 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Murray fit to play at Wimbledon
16 Jun 08 |  Tennis


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