Andy Murray admits he has some tricks up his sleeve for Wimbledon

WITH just a handful of days to go before the start of Wimbledon, Andy Murray was in relaxed mood yesterday despite losing to Janko Tipsarevic at the Boodles exhibition event in Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire.

On the same day that is was confirmed Murray will be the fourth seed at SW19 next week, the Scot was beaten 6-7, 6-4, 10-7 [the final set was no more than a champion’s tiebreak] by Tipsarevic. But he was feeling good and playing well.

Several lively rallies lit up the third game and the world No 8 from Serbia was pushed hard on his serve before holding. The opening set continued to be keenly contested with both players’ serves proving impenetrable and a tie break was needed to separate them.

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Twice Murray trailed with Tipsarevic serving at 5-4 up, but twice the Scot fought back as he steadied his nerve. Finally making inroads with his serve, he clinched the first set by outmanoeuvring Tipsarevic before firing a simple forehand.

Murray fired a stunning forehand early in the second set only to be broken in the fifth game, Tipsarevic somehow getting his racket to a bullet serve and the Scot then finding the net.

Two break points arrived in a hard-fought tenth, but Murray was unable to capitalise on either, ushering in a tie-break to decide the match with the rivals locked at one set each.

Murray showed his frustration as he was beaten by an easy backhand to trail 6-4 and he continued to be outgunned as Tipsarevic prevailed in the first-to-ten decider.

But afterwards the Scot said he was happy with his performance. “I’m hitting the ball very well and practice has been good in the past few days,” he explained. “I am moving much better than I did at Queen’s a week ago. Not slipping around as much. That’s going to be important going into Wimbledon.”

Since he returned from Roland Garros, Murray’s ailing back has been improving daily and with Ivan Lendl to guide him through the last few days of practise, he looks fit and sounds relaxed. And even if he was keeping his cards close to his chest, he did let on that he has a few tricks up his sleeve in readiness for the start of hostilities in SW19.

“We’ve done some different things in practice than normal and hopefully they’ll pay off when the tournament starts,” Murray admitted.

“But I am not going to share those things with everybody. You’ve got to try and keep that close to your team and the guys that you work with if you can.”

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Today Murray faces Novak Djokovic at Stoke Park in what is expected to be his last match before Wimbledon gets underway. Yesterday, the Dunblane player was named fourth seed for the grand slam event, while Djokovic, the world No 1 and defending champion, is top seed.

Djokovic is followed by the man he beat in last year’s final, Rafael Nadal, who is fresh from winning a record seventh French Open title.

Six-time champion Roger Federer is seeded third, while last season’s semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is sixth. Former finalist Tomas Berdych swaps places with David Ferrer, the Czech seeded sixth ahead of the Spaniard, while Mardy Fish is promoted to tenth ahead of John Isner and Nicolas Almagro.