Compatriots as he faces Fabio Fognini
Andy Murray is used to making tennis history. On Friday, however, he has the company of three compatriots in the third round, an experience that ought to be taken for granted but, sadly, as he pointed out, is still regarded as a novelty. And, in all of his 41 slams, the only British player to finish ahead of Murray is Johanna Konta, who went out in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open this year to the eventual champion, Serena Williams, after Mischa Authentic Jets Womens Jersey Zverev had put the Scot away in the fourth round. Murray’s part of that deal this time is to beat Fabio Fognini, the flamboyant Italian who played near his very best to beat him in Rome, and who has won two of their other five matches, but they have yet to meet on grass. It would be a serious setback if Murray lost to him at home when defending the title. “It’s a good thing when there are more Brits around,” Murray said. “That’s a really positive thing, but it doesn’t change how I go into the matches. I’m used to having played deep into the second weeks at slams and there not being any Brits there. Whether I’ll feel differently the middle of the second week and there are a few Brits left, and it’s maybe a little bit calmer … that’s possible. I’ve never been in that position before.” Aljaz Bedene, whose efforts here have gone under the radar, has to cope with the big, left-arm serves of Gilles Müller. He said: “Everybody has got to focus on themselves but I feel part of something bigger. It is amazing to see so many Brits in the third round. But Andy is right – we need to look to go further. He is used to it and not many of the rest of us are. My accommodation is only just at the back of the practice Men's Replica Majestic Andrew McCutchen Orange Jersey - #22 MLB Pittsburgh Pirates National League 2013 All-Star BPwidth= courts. It’s booked for the whole fortnight so I am aiming to stay.” Murray said: “The start of the match will be big for Aljaz. Gilles is a good front-runner, the way he serves. Once he gets ahead he’s not an easy guy to break. But if Aljaz can start well, he serves very well himself.” In the other matches that will hold the nation’s collective gaze, Konta plays the young Greek outsider Maria Sakkari, who is guided in this tournament by one of Murray’s early Tour coaches Mark Petchey – who was one of the famous five 20 years ago, along with Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski, Andrew Richardson and Karen Cross – and Heather Watson plays Victoria Azarenka, the toughest gig of the lot. As for delivering his own result and performance when many doomsayers are predicting a fall, Murray says he uses the gloomy prognoses as motivation. “Throughout the course of a year you need to have the motivation Cardinals Womens Jersey yourself to want to be the best or to want to win tournaments, and want to train hard, all of those things. But there are different stages in the year where someone says that you can’t do something or people think that you’re struggling or you might be coming towards the end. “I’ve been getting asked, just because I said one thing about potentially not competing at the top of the game for so much longer, that I’m thinking about retiring, or how many more years I’m going to play, or am I starting to slip a little bit. So those things at different stages, they can help. Like before the French Open, when I’m in a ‘terrible’ place in terms of my game and I’m not playing well, having that little bit of extra motivation can help.”


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