Dog days for Murray as Wimbledon build-up drags one
Andy Murray was hoping to relieve the pressure of a nation with some stress-busting animal interaction on Saturday as the Wimbledon Championships buildup begins to weigh, the dpa reported.
"I'm going to go walk my dog, play some pool," said 11th seed Murray, now the lone serious British hope with the retirements of Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski. "I played golf a couple of days ago.
"I just try and not watch too much TV and worry too much about what's getting said about me."
With the 21-year-old an outside hope after the big three of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, expectations are - as usual - high at the grass court Grand Slam.
"It's not different for me personally at all," said the only Briton into the 128-strong draw by virtue of his ranking. "I don't feel any different to the last few years in terms of Tim or Greg not being here.
"It's not really affecting me."
Murray will face a tricky opening match against flashy Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, whose double-fisted attack is unique in the game.
"He's one of my favorite players to watch," said Murray. "He's got so much variety, he can play so many different shots.
"He's very different to pretty much every other player on the tour. It's a tough match, but one that I can definitely win if I play well."
Santoro, 35 and ranked 53rd as he begins to close out his career, has voiced the hope that he can finally play a singles match on Centre court. That wish is almost sure to be granted with Murray on the other side of the net.
"Last year or two years ago I think I played every match on Centre Court, guess there's a pretty good shot of it," deadpanned Murray.
The Scot said that amid the hype and anticipation he is ready to get on with the job at an event where he has never reached the second week in two previous appearances.
"You do want to get out there after a while. A lot of practicing, done a lot of good work in the gym.
"You're just looking forward to the match and trying to make sure you stay fresh," said player who missed the summer season a year ago with a wrist injury.
"Last year was tough, but I'm looking forward to playing this year."