Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Andy Murray out to regain Queen’s crown

Andy Murray feels in good form, despite recent concerns over his ankle, as he prepares to launch his Wimbledon build-up against Xavier Malisse today at the AEGON Championships.

The British number one arrived at Queen's Club on the back of his best ever French Open performance, which ended in a semi-final defeat to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.

Murray finished the tournament on painkillers after damaging a tendon in his right ankle and he will need medication to get through this week and, potentially, Wimbledon.

Murray, champion at Queen's in 2009, said: “It was my best French Open so I am pleased with that.

“I felt I was a bit patchy throughout the tournament but I was finding a way to win, especially in sets where I was behind.

“I came back a lot in matches which is something I hadn't been doing before the clay-court stretch, which is good.

“Winning matches when you are not playing your best is really important.”

Playing on grass throws up a whole set of new challenges for Murray. His right ankle, like his left, will now be heavily strapped when he takes the court.

“It's not enough time, that's a fact,” said Murray, referring to the proximity of the two tournaments.

“It will be two days of practice and then you're straight into the tournament.

“The surfaces are completely different, the balls are completely different.

“The only negative about doing well at the French Open is that you have less time to prepare for the grass. But I'd rather be in this position,” he added.

Malisse, who made a solid start to his grass-court season with a |6-4 6-4 victory over Matthias Bachinger yesterday, insisted he would not be looking to exploit Murray's suspect ankle.

“If he's playing, it means he's good to play. I don't think he'll take too many risks with Wimbledon coming up,” said the Belgian, ranked 40 in the world.

British number two James Ward earned a shock win over fourth seed Stanislas Wawrinka to reach the third round at Queen's.

Ward, 24, has never got past the second round of a Grand Slam tournament but refused to be intimidated by world number 14 Wawrinka of Switzerland, winning 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

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