Andy Murray admits Queen’s defeat to lucky loser Jordan Thompson is ‘big blow’
Defending champion Murray is out of Queen’s.
Andy Murray admits his Wimbledon chances suffered a heavy blow after the world number one lost to lucky loser Jordan Thompson in the first round of the Aegon Championships.
But Murray is adamant he still can turn his stuttering form around at the All England Club, where his bid to win a fourth grand slam title begins in less than a fortnight’s time.
Thompson, ranked 90th in the world, was only entered into the main draw at Queen’s four hours before after Aljaz Bedene withdrew injured, but the Australian played the match of his life to win 7-6 (7/4) 6-2.
More concerning for Murray is not only the continuation of his poor form but the fact he has lost potentially a week’s worth of competitive matches on grass, with Wimbledon fast approaching.
It is perhaps no coincidence that both his Wimbledon triumphs in 2013 and 2016 came after he also won the title at Queen’s.
Murray said: “It’s a big blow, for sure. Obviously this tournament has given me great preparation in the past and when I have done well here, Wimbledon has tended to go pretty well too. It’s not ideal obviously but guys have in the past also gone in to Wimbledon having not won lots of matches.
“Novak (Djokovic) a number of times hasn’t played any warm-up tournaments and played very well there. It has happened in the past where guys haven’t done well and they’ve gone on to do well at Wimbledon.
“There is no guarantees that I won’t do well at Wimbledon but it certainly would have helped to have had more matches.”
Murray, however, can draw encouragement from his last first round exit at Queen’s in 2012, when he went on to reach the Wimbledon final, while Djokovic has regularly warmed up for SW19 by attending only exhibition matches the week before.
The British number one said he might yet explore the option of exhibition events next week but insists there is no reason to panic.
“I do think that a lot can change in a short period of time. Everything was a lot better in practice. Today’s match was not good but I was much better in practice,” Murray said. “If I play like that, I certainly won’t win Wimbledon but I can play better than that.”
Thompson had lost to Frenchman Jeremy Chardy on Sunday in the second round of qualifying but was handed a lifeline after Bedene pulled out with a wrist injury. Murray said the late change of opponent made no difference.
“I found out quite a number of hours in advance so I was able to see quite a bit of him online and have seen him play a few matches before,” Murray said. “I don’t think that had anything to do with it.”
The 30-year-old was also quick to dismiss suggestions he had felt any extra pressure after pledging to donate his winnings from the tournament to the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Murray’s first-round exit will earn him around £12,000.
“I don’t think it’s fair to place blame anywhere like that,” Murray said.
“Obviously it’s been a tough few months, no question about that, but when I’m playing, I’m just trying to concentrate on my tennis and when I’m away from the court I’m just trying to spend a lot of time with my family and the people that mean a lot or are important to me.
“I wouldn’t want to place any blame there. I wouldn’t think that would be fair.”
Thompson will go through to face American Sam Querrey in round two.
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