Andy Murray's performance at The Queen's Club this week is shaping up to be the perfect preparation for a Wimbledon Championships just around the corner. A hard fought final against defending Marin Cilic ended with a 5-7 7-5 6-3 victory, following an even more impressive victory over Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 4-6 6-3 6-2 in the semis.
The Scotsman has looked confident and calm, very different from the man we saw twice last year break down on Centre Court.
His first outing on Centre Court came after a 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 defeat to the Swiss tennis icon Roger Federer, although on the day Murray was lauded for being the first Briton to contest the single's final since Bunny Austin in 1938.
After the match an unusually emotional Murray gave an even more unusually passionate speech about how grateful he was for the support that the British public had offered him, and dismissed the deep-rooted belief that it is the media in this country which ruined his chances (an excuse embraced regularly by the England national football team).
Four weeks later Murray managed to break another British tennis record by becoming the first man to win an Olympic singles gold medal since Josiah Ritchie in 1908, defeating his Wimbledon foe Federer in three sets, 6-2 6-1 6-4.
It was a victory for him which showed the value of the fantastic family and technical team he had built around himself. It also demonstrated to Murray that having a home crowd at Wimbledon is something that improves his chances and improves his performance, rather than hinders him.
His 2013 ATP season has so far brought much success, starting with victory at the Brisbane International in which he only dropped a single set throughout the entire tournament.
This lead onto an appearance at the final of the Australian Open against Novak Djokovic which resulted in a defeat, despite another successful run through the rounds in which he hadn't dropped a set until a semi-final victory over Federer.
His ability to consistently battle with the world's best players became evident in the ATP Masters 1000 in Miami when he overcame Marin Cilic, Richard Gasquet and David Ferrer on his way to take home the trophy.
Murray's clay season has been something he quickly put behind him after not managing to get further than the quarterfinals at either Rome, Madrid or Monte Carlo. A productive Queen's Club tournament has eradicated that memory and grass is his successful partner once again.
Unlike in the past Wimbledon tournaments, when British entrants were ridiculed beforehand and never given a chance, Murray has convinced people that he is a competitor who is going for the win and plays his own successful game, rather than being the butt of tabloid jokes.
image: © carine06