BBC Sport tennis

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 20:47 GMT, Thursday, 17 June 2010 21:47 UK

Andy Murray knows he can win Wimbledon - Tim Henman

Wimbledon Championships
Venue: All England Club, London Date: 21 June - 4 July
Coverage:
Live on BBC One and Two, HD, Red Button, BBC Sport website (UK only), Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra; live text commentary online and on mobile phones. Full details of BBC coverage

Andy Murray
Can Andy Murray use his grass-court skills to achieve glory at SW19?

By Tim Henman
Former British number one

Andy Murray will be the first to admit that his results leading up to Wimbledon have been far from ideal.

It's the most important tournament of his season but, whereas a year ago he arrived with four titles already to his name, this time around he has none.

And he'll be particularly disappointed that his defence of the Aegon Championships at Queen's - his only scheduled warm-up event before SW19 - lasted just two matches.

However, I honestly don't think any of that will have a bearing on what he achieves over the coming fortnight.

There were occasions when I lost my first match at Queen's but went deep into the second week of Wimbledon, and others when I did well at Queen's but struggled at Wimbledon.

606: DEBATE
SuperSpurs4Ever- ComeOnEngland

By his own admission, Andy has not been at his best recently, but you don't become a bad player overnight and tennis is a sport in which fortunes can change rapidly.

The transition from clay to grass is very quick and Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic were all caught out at Queen's, while Roger Federer lost to Lleyton Hewitt in Halle.

You won't find any of those guys panicking before Wimbledon, and likewise with Andy.

He has plenty of time to practise and familiarise himself with the conditions and come Monday or Tuesday, he will be ready and raring to go.

The experience of reaching the semi-finals in 2009 will stand him in good stead and I don't see any reason why he can't make the last four again, or even advance to the final.

For that to happen he'll need to recapture the form he showed at January's Australian Open, where he served brilliantly and demonstrated plenty of aggression from the baseline.

That tournament was the best I've ever seen Andy play but, on reflection, I feel losing to Federer in the final hit him hard, it was a major disappointment and there was certainly an after-effect.

Tim Henman
Henman waved goodbye to Wimbledon's centre court in 2007

What followed was a couple of bad days on the hard courts of Dubai and Miami, which can happen to any player, but the clay-court season was always going to be his biggest challenge.

Now it's vital that he regroups, concentrates solely on his own game, ignores everything being said or written about him and remains true to himself.

Andy plays his best tennis when he's proactive and if he can be that little bit more aggressive and make full use of his many weapons, he's capable of beating anyone.

The strength in depth on the men's tour today means you cannot afford to let opponents dictate and boss you around the court. If you set out to defend, especially on grass, you'll be found out.

Andy will be down at Wimbledon in the week beforehand working tirelessly to get that backhand and first serve firing consistently, but it's about taking your game from the practice court to the match court.

Sometimes if you're not high on confidence you can't do that, you don't see the game quite as clearly in your mind and it becomes easy to lose sight of your strategy and style of play.

A lot will depend on his tactical approach and he knows better than any of us what will work for him at the All England Club.

We've spoken at length and on many occasions about his tennis, my tennis and tennis in general. He's very clear in his own mind about what he wants to do and the way he intends to do it.

Some people go to such extremes, suggesting Andy can only win Wimbledon if he serve-volleys three times per game and uses the chip-and-charge at every opportunity, but that's not his game.

He's a strong baseliner and a great mover; he can beat you from the back of the court, he can mix things up with the drop shot and, as he showed last year, he can come to the net and volley.

Andy Roddick

Highlights - Andy Roddick beats Andy Murray at Wimbledon in 2009

Much was made of his attitude at Queen's - people were questioning his body language, demeanour and mindset - and perhaps that's the price he pays for wearing his heart on his sleeve.

When he's too passive people say he's lost his passion to compete, and when he's angry and tries to fire himself up they say he's got to calm down and control his frustration.

There's always an over-reaction in this country because Andy's the only British player with a realistic chance of glory, but he's mature enough to deal with that.

It will be interesting to monitor the levels interest and speculation surrounding him this year because Wimbledon falls at the same time as the World Cup.

When that happened during my career I remember there being a little bit less scrutiny on me, so if the press are focusing more on the footballers in South Africa it could be a good thing.

That said, pressure is ultimately self-inflicted and no-one expects more of Andy than the guy himself. It's what he thinks that matters and he knows he has it in him to win Wimbledon.

Personally, I think Federer and Nadal are more likely champions, while Hewitt has the form and pedigree to spring a surprise, but Andy could do it and I have every confidence in him.

If Andy produces the tennis he's capable of, we could be in for a sensational two weeks.


Tim Henman was speaking to BBC Sport's David Ornstein. Henman will be part of the BBC's commentary team for Wimbledon 2010, which begins on 21 June.



Print Sponsor


see also
Murray to face Hajek at Wimbledon
18 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Murray beats Youzhny in warm-up
17 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Murray to miss Davis Cup play-off
15 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Murray beaten by Fish at Queen's
11 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Murray suffers semi-final misery
03 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Federer win breaks Sampras record
05 Jul 09 |  Tennis


related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.