Rain can’t dampen Andy Murray’s spirits at the Boodles
The British No1 was limited to the briefest of hits with Viktor Troicki at the Boodles event on Friday
Andy Murray may have played only five games in his friendly against Viktor Troicki at the Boodles in Buckinghamshire on a rained-off afternoon but it was enough for him to show off almost every shot in the tennis book.
Fresh from his first tour title of the year at Queen’s -a final that was moved to Monday also because of inclement weather -Murray clearly remained in buoyant mood.
For the second time in four days, he showed off his latest crowd-pleaser: his between-the-legs cross-court volley.
He had blamed the spur-of-the-moment shot against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on some tangled footwork but this time, there was no hint of accident about it. If anything, there was the trace of a smile on his face before he even reached the net to pick up the short ball from his opponent. It was fun -and not a little cheeky.
The conditions for tennis were, on this leaden Friday afternoon, as inhospitable as they could be: bone-chilling, damp and gloomy.
An amiable Troicki had already had to fend off reminders of his last loss to Murray, from two sets up, in the fourth round of the French Open.
He carried off the pre-match Q and As with some aplomb but Murray’s ‘tweener -supplemented by a few aces and forehand winners -must have chilled his spirit as much as the weather.
Murray’s mood, though -even after the journey out from the practice courts of Wimbledon to play his five games -remains as up-beat as when he cheerfully announced at Queen’s. “This has been one of the most fun weeks I’ve had on the tour.”
He started with enthusiastic tweets from the back seat of the spanking-new Jaguar car supplied by the Boodles to collect him. “It’s an absolute scandal how good it is, most luxurious car I’ve been in. I don’t want to get out! I might ask the driver if I can take it for a spin!”
And the positive vibe about his chances at Wimbledon continued during his brief chat with the media before returning to London. “I’ve played well in the last few matches,” he said. “I’ve played well at Queen’s and now I’ve just got to get myself in the right frame of mind and hopefully I’ll do well.”
The Wimbledon draw was made just hours before he left London for Stoke Park, so he had time to ponder on his first-round match against the No56-ranked Spaniard, Daniel Gimeno-Traver.
They have met only once on the senior tour, in Valencia in 2009, and Murray won 6-3 6-1. He would be drawn no further than to comment that they knew each other well from juniors.
But in his present form and spirits, it’s hard to see Murray in the same situation he faced against Troicki in Paris.
Indeed, it is hard to seem him doing anything other than cruise through his opener. Who knows, he may even be tempted to showboat that ‘tweener one more time.