He’s yet to take to the court, but already the pressure is on and the stakes are higher than ever for Andy Murray – could this be his crowning year at Wimbledon?
Roger Federer certainly believes so, predicting the Scot will reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon this year, even if he has been given a tough draw.
Murray begins his bid to become the first British winner at SW19 since Fred Perry in 1936 when he takes on Nikolay Davydenko on today (Tuesday).
It’s the first match for the Scotsman, however Federer has confidently predicted Murray will make it to the last four – where he would most likely face Rafael Nadal – provided he gets a little luck along the way.
“I think he wants to first get through the first round, like all of us,” said the Swiss, who swept aside Albert Ramos in straight sets on Monday. “But absolutely. I predict him to get there.
“Home-court advantage, playing on grass, with his talent and his game, everything’s right there for him. It’s up to him to make it happen. I guess you always need a little bit of luck along the way.
“Every year, I’m very excited to see him play and get out there on Centre Court most likely every time and battle it out.
“I haven’t played Andy a whole lot the last couple of years. Obviously being ranked three and four for a while now, we haven’t seen each other that often in the draws. I hope he does well.”
Murray’s form going into the third slam of the season has not been good, while he was troubled by a back problem during the French Open in Paris.
He reacted angrily at the weekend to suggestions he was making the most of the injury at Roland Garros, and he received support from Novak Djokovic, who has in the past had to defend himself against similar accusations.
The Serbian said: “I’ve known him for a long time. I know he’s a great competitor. He’s a great fighter. He has a lot of pressure, a lot of expectation, especially here in Great Britain.
“He has all the qualities to be a grand slam winner. There is no doubt. And regarding the injuries, yes, I went through that period in my life where people were questioning my injuries.
“If I’m hurt, I’m hurt. I never asked for any medical time-outs or things like that if I have no reason. So I believe that’s the situation with him.”