Murray Would Love A Crack At Djokovic, But Ideally Not At The Start Of Wimbledon

The Scot admitted he would love a 37th meeting with record 23-time grand slam winner Novak Djokovic
09:16, 29 Jun 2023

Two-time winner Andy Murray will be unseeded at Wimbledon this year, making him a dangerous floater in Friday’s draw. 

And the Scot admits that while he would love a 37th meeting with record 23-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic, he would rather it wasn’t in the first round in Friday’s draw.

The 36-year-old Murray completed his preparations for the annual SW19 extravaganza with a competitive exhibition match against world No6 Holger Rune at the Giorgio Armani Classic at the exclusive Hurlingham Club in south-west London – going down 6-4, 6-4 to the 20-year-old.


After winning two ATP Challenger tournaments back to back at Surbiton and Nottingham, Murray has found higher-calibre opposition harder to see off, losing also 6-3, 6-1 to world No16 Alex De Minaur at Queen’s the week before.

A third Wimbledon crown, for which Murray is a 40-1 shot, would doubtless bring the Centre Court house down. He remains the last player to beat Djokovic on Centre Court, in the 2013 final when he lifted the trophy for the first time.

And he would love another crack at the Serb before packing away his racket for good – but insists that doesn’t have to be this year with every intention of playing on, and also that a clash in the second week of the event would carry far greater resonance.

Murray said: “Ideally I wouldn’t draw a big name like Novak right at the beginning, I’d want that to happen later on in the tournament.

“But at the same time because of the situation and not being a seed, I need to be ready for that and prepared to play anyone right from the start.

“I have had some pretty tough first round draws in the slams over the last couple of years and I need to be ready for that again – and I think I am.

“I am no less competitive than I was in the last, I still have a big desire to go out on the court and compete. I am aware that I am in a different situation now.

“I am extremely proud of what I am doing now, it is very difficult after what I have been through over the last few years from a physical perspective. And I am proud to still be competing at the highest level.

“I would love the chance to play Novak again. We haven’t played for years, Doha 2017. We were unfortunate, being due to play in Madrid last year but I got ill.

“Form-wise I think it has been good. Queen’s didn’t go how I wanted but the couple of weeks before that I played well. I have never been the best in practice matches.

“But there are some positive signs there. Maybe other players would say differently, but I don’t think there are loads of players that would want to draw me in the first round. That’s a good place to be.

“And I think I am certainly in a much better place this year than in the previous few years going into Wimbledon from the physical perspective. And tennis-wise just from a ranking perspective I think it is higher than I have been in previous years.

“I have been able to compete on the regular tour for the last 12 months, so it is definitely better, for sure.

“It is not something I have been thinking about this week, whether this might be my last Wimbledon. I am aware that is a possibility. But that is not where my head is.

“I am focusing on the tournament and looking at having a good run. I am not planning on this being my last Wimbledon and I don’t want it to be. I have got more tennis in me.”

The official Wimbledon poster, intended to showcase rivalries of the present and past, caused a stir this year…with Murray missing, and several of the great women players in the background.

Asked about the poster, Murray joked: “It was a disaster!” But then adopting a more serious tone, he said: “I don’t think the problem with the poster was me not being on it.

Screenshot2023 06 29at084800png

“You have seen it, I don’t need to elaborate any more. Me not being on it isn’t the problem.”

Asked if he was concerned about several of the most prominent players featured being men with the women pushed into the background, Murray responded: “That was what was slightly strange.

“The players that are obviously on the poster, ones that have had incredible careers and been unbelievably successful at Wimbledon but elsewhere some of the greatest players of all time.

“And for me…Alcaraz and Sinner…unbelievable players but it seemed the others were all behind them. But I just don’t know how big a deal it is, it’s a poster. I personally don’t really care that much about it. But I can see when you look at it, it does look a bit strange.”

And on Wednesday’s match, Murray added: “Holger is a tough player and one of the top players in the world, so it is great to play a match like that just before Wimbledon.

“It means you can see exactly where your game is at and if there are some things to work on. It keeps you sharp.

“Obviously I would have liked to have done a bit better today, but hopefully I can build on that in the next few days.

“Nowadays it is okay being me in the run-up to Wimbledon – maybe 10 years ago it was a little bit different. There was more expectation and pressure and all those things.

“So it has actually been okay the last few weeks and fairly low key, and I have got to spend lots of time at home with my family. There it is easy to switch off from tennis.

“When you are at the venues it can be a bit hectic but I have enough experience to deal with that.

“I played some good matches at the two Challenger titles I won recently, and it was the first time in a long while, maybe 12 months, that I had played that many matches in such a short space of time.

“Then on top of the tennis being good, my body held up pretty well physically which is good and I feel very match sharp and match tight going into next week.”

Andy Murray is 40/1 to win Wimbledon with Betfred*

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

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