BRITISH No1 Andy Murray last night dismissed concerns his shock second-round exit from the Aegon Championships will derail his chances of winning a first grand slam at Wimbledon next month.
Murray lost 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (1-7) to Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, the world No65, in his first match and failed to perform anywhere near his best throughout but regardless remains adamant that his Major chances have not been undermined.
“It’s panic stations now,” said Murray sarcastically of his Queen’s club defeat.“I’ve just got no chance to be ready for Wimbledon. It’s going to be impossible, I think.
“This kind if thing happens often. Novak Djokovic isn’t playing the next two weeks so there is no need for me to panic.
“I lost the match 7-6 in the third in my first game of the tournament and it takes a bit of time to adjust to the grass courts.”
Murray will instead fine-tune his grass-court game by playing in some exhibition matches next week but will perhaps take some comfort from the words of his opponent who, despite having previously beaten world No2 Rafael Nadal, described the win as possibly the best of his career and backed the Scotsman to succeed at Wimbledon.
He said: “I’m pretty sure Andy will do well at Wimbledon, maybe win this time. You will see him winning matches very shortly.”
Another British hope, wildcard Jamie Baker, was also knocked-out after a 6-3, 6-2 defeat to second seed Jo Wilfried Tsonga, who Murray overcame in last year’s final. Frenchman Tsonga, the world No5, advances to the last 16.
MURRAY AT QUEEN’S
2011 Winner; reached Wimbledon semi-finals
2010 Third round; reached Wimbledon semi-finals
2009 Winner; reached Wimbledon semi-finals
2008 Quarter-finals; reached Wimbledon quarter-finals
2007 Injured; also injured for Wimbledon
2006 First round; reached fourth round of Wimbledon