Andy Murray is refusing to start dreaming about another grand slam final despite avoiding a dreaded quarter-final clash against Rafael Nadal.
All eyes were on Nadal’s name at the Wimbledon draw because his surprisingly low fifth seeding meant he could be drawn against any of the big three – Murray, Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic – in the quarter-finals.
Defending champion Federer drew the short straw, but Murray did not escape scot free.
The second seed will face the winner of the probable match-up between Nadal and Federer in the last four, and he will have to overcome the literally giant obstacle of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarters.
But all in all, the draw has been favourable for Murray. He should have no trouble beating German Benjamin Becker in the first round and the list of opponents that then lie in wait – Londoner James Ward, Tommy Robredo of Spain and Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic – are all winnable.
Murray will begin Wimbledon a much more contented person having won the US Open and Olympics after making the Wimbledon final for the first time last year.
Yet, the 26-year-old acknowledges that it was only a few weeks ago that he was unable to play due to a back injury so he is determined not to get ahead of himself.
“For all the players, it is one of the biggest events, and it would be a big achievement, but it is just ridiculous to look that far in front,” Murray said.
“A few weeks ago, I was not hitting tennis balls, so I am not going to get ahead of myself, I will just get ready for the first match and get 100 per cent fit, and give it my best shot.”
If Murray’s recent form is anything to go by, he looks to have overcome the injury that ruled him out of the French Open.
He showed no trouble in winning at Queen’s and Hurlingham while he showed no sign of discomfort as he practiced on the courts at SW19 yesterday.
While Murray’s joy was clear for all to see following his win in New York, the Scot is looking forward to trying to get to another grand slam final on home turf.
“Once you get out onto the court, in front of home support, that always makes a difference to the way you play, it helps,” Murray added. There is a lot of pressure. You want to play in front of a home crowd, it makes a difference.”
The biggest winner from the men’s singles draw was Novak Djokovic. With Nadal, Murray and Federer in the opposite side of the draw, the favourite’s only real challenge before the final will come versus fourth seed David Ferrer, against whom he has never played on grass.
Ward will take on Murray in round two if he beats World no. 142 Yen-Hsun Lu while fellow Briton Kyle Edmund has a tough task ahead of him in the shape of Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz, who is seeded 24th.
Britain’s women have also been handed tough draws.
Number one Laura Robson will play tenth seed Maria Kirilenko while wildcard Johanna Konta faces former US Open finalist Jelena Jankovic.
The other two home wildcards Tara Moore and Samantha Murray will play Kaia Kanepi and Camila Giorgi respectively.
British No. 2 Heather Watson was pitted against America world No. 53 Madison Keys while Elena Baltacha will fancy her chances of overcoming Italy’s Flavia Pennetta to make the second round. Anne Keothavong has a tougher draw against world No. 70 Garbine Muguruza of Spain.
Defending champion Serena Williams, meanwhile, was drawn against Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella. The American has been kept apart from Maria Sharapova so the two may meet in the final. Second seed Victoria Azarenka was pitted against 20-year-old Portuguese Maria Joao Koehler while last year’s finalist Agnieszka Radwanska plays Austrian qualifier Yvonne Meusburger.