Andy Murray relishes return to action at Queen's for grass-court season

Now the dust has settled on the French Open and Rafael Nadal has demonstrated once again that he is the king of clay by winning a record eighth title at Roland Garros, thoughts turn to the start of the grass-court season, which begins with the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club on Monday.

Having missed the French Open with a back injury, Andy Murray will return to action at Queen's on Wednesday when he could play Nicolas Mahut, who beat him in the second round last year.

The world No2 will face stiff competition from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who could be his semi-final opponent, Juan Martín del Potro, Tomas Berdych and last year's champion, Marin Cilic, although Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Nadal will all take their preparations for Wimbledon elsewhere.

"The conditions at Queen's are perfect," Murray said. "It's a great setting and the Centre Court is really good, so it's perfect preparation. I'll be short of matches. I've done enough training over the last 10 days or so. I actually did a big training block after Monte Carlo, so some of that should still be in there too. It's just matches that I'll need.

"Normally, coming from the clay court, I'd be match tough, just not used to the surface, whereas this year I won't be match tight but at least I'll have had 10 days on the grass."

British interest will be high in West Kensington this year. Jamie Baker qualified for the main draw after beating Marcelo Melo 6-2, 6-2on Sunday, and James Ward, Edward Corrie, Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund, an 18-year-old who became the first British winner at Roland Garros since 1982 by claiming the boys' doubles title with Portugal's Frederico Ferreira Silva, have all been given wild cards.

As usual Federer will contest the Halle event in Germany, although Nadal, who recently missed seven months with a knee injury, has pulled out of the tournament in order to rest after his exertions in Paris.

Meanwhile the British women's No1, Laura Robson, believes that she needs to be more consistent if she is to make an impact at Wimbledon. The 19-year-old, who is ranked 37th in the world, recently split with her coach, Zeljko Krajan, in order to work with Miles Maclagan, who used to coach Murray.

Robson, who will compete in the Aegon Classic at Edgbaston this week, is hoping to reach the third round of Wimbledon for the first time and recent victories over Petra Kvitova and Agnieszka Radwanska, at the Australian Open and Madrid Open respectively, have taught her where she needs to improve.

"They just have a lot more experience and, if you come out firing in the first set, they generally have back-up," Robson said. "They always give themselves the best chance to win. I think consistency is probably the biggest difference in terms of switching from juniors to seniors and from lower-ranked to higher-ranked.

"My year so far has been pretty up and down and I've had good wins but also some bad losses. So I'm just trying to focus on being a bit more consistent in the next weeks and I'm really looking forward to getting into the grass season."

Robson said Murray had played no part in introducing her to Maclagan, who has coached Cyprus's Marcos Baghdatis and Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber.

"I didn't speak to Andy," she said. "I just thought it would be a good thing to have for the next couple of weeks. I really respect Miles' opinions and I think he's always been a very good tactical coach."

Powered by article was written by Jacob Steinberg, for The Guardian on Sunday 9th June 2013 19.54 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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