With another straight-sets Wimbledon victory behind him, Andy Murray last night looked forward to the third round and, rarely for a sportsman, beyond that. It will be tough, he said, but he can win the tournament again – “for sure”.
The Scot defeated the Jamaican-German Dustin Brown 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 on what was an excellent day for the Brits and will next face Italy’s Fabio Fognini tomorrow.
Murray said: “I believe I can have a good run here. You know, I can win for sure. It’s going to be extremely difficult but it’s possible.”
The flamboyant Brown was expected to be a test for the champion and
No 1 seed with his swashbuckling style – he often takes off through the air. But he didn’t cause Murray too many problems and nor did the flying ants which swirled around Centre Court on a hot day. “I didn’t know there was such a thing,” Murray laughed.
He was in a buoyant mood and spoke of the consolation of his stop-start season in being able to see more of his wife Kim and daughter Sophia.
“I’m still very dedicated to tennis and I want to do the best that I can with the time I have left,” he said. “But the positive of me not doing so well is that I get to spend more time at home with my family.”
He was asked what would be the couple of pieces of advice he would give to his younger self were he able to time-travel back to the start of his career.
“I’d give more than two,” he smiled. “There are so many things that you’d do differently. Maybe I’d have changed some of the ways I trained to avoid the back surgery in the middle of my career. And I would have enjoyed the earlier part of my career more, for sure. I wish I’d done that [because] I found the years maybe between 21 and 24, 25 quite difficult.”
Remembering how the whole country went tennis-crazy when he won his first Wimbledon in 2013, Murray was asked to imagine the national mood were he and Johanna Konta to make it a British double-triumph this year. “It would be amazing, for sure. I still say it’s unlikely but it’s possible.”
Konta beat Croatia’s Donna Vekic to progress in a gruelling match lasting almost twice as long as Murray’s. He urged the Brit contingent to push on. “Aim as high as you can,” he said. “Jo won and so did Heather [Watson] and Aljaz [Bedine]. Hopefully we can all keep going. It’s exciting for tennis fans in this country to have players going deep into the Slams.”
Turning to Fognini, Murray said he’ll need to be wary of an opponent who’s beaten him on clay. “He’s an incredible shot-maker. When Fabio is switched on he’s really, really tough to beat.”