Five-time champion Andy Murray has a word for the sceptics as he returns to the ATP after three and a half months away, ready to make a run on grass at Queen’s club:
“I want to win Wimbledon. And yes, I would like to be No. 1 in the world.”
The unseeded Scot ranked 123 after two hip surgeries and several seasons of start-stop attempts at a return to competition, will play as a wild card at this week’s Queen’s club Wiimbledon tune-up.
Murray will face French tennis slacker Benoit Paire in the first round; the Scot last played in the Rotterdam second round in the first week of March.
The situation on home grass is about as deep into his comfort zone as the 34-year-old can get.
The double Wimbledon winner told the Guardian that his tennis dreams are as strong as ever.
“My expectations of myself are still as high as when I was 20. And one of the years I won Wimbledon, I pulled out of Roland Garros and gave myself more time to prepare on grass.
“I’m not saying the result will be the same! If you like to do something, why would you stop just because you’re not doing it as well as before?”
The father of four added that he’s playing because of his burning desire to taste victory again.
“Criticise my performance and tell me I’m bad, it’s okay. But I’m going to keep going until I can’t anymore, because that’s what I love. ”
“There are a lot of people who tell me to stop playing tennis, it’s sad, and they don’t want to see me play like this.
“I tell them, “Don’t be sad for me! I love to do this, and I choose to do it. No one is forcing me. All the physical tests I made in December and recently show that my physical condition is as good as it ever was.
Murray won Queen’s for his fifth time five years ago, defeating Milos Raonic in the final.