Despite losing to Djokovic in Sunday’s Australian Open final, Murray’s recent performances bode well for 2013.
Andy Murray is expected to be a real crowd favourite at Wimbledon 2013 following his performances at the Australian Open, US Open and Olympic Games since his run to the final in 2012.
The Scotsman lost the Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic on Sunday, but beat the Serbian to claim his first Grand Slam title in New York last September, after beating Roger Federer to Olympic Gold.
With 21 weeks to go before this year’s Wimbledon gets underway, SWLondoner ventured to Centre Court to speak to tournament spokesman Johnny Perkins about Murray and more.
Perkins said: “He’s matured as a person and a player I think people are beginning to appreciate the talent he’s got, he’s one of our most talented sports people and he’s certainly in with a chance of success.
“I think he’s also learnt how to present himself, that’s one of those things that you learn along the way in all walks of life.
“Certainly we saw in the Olympics, if that experience is anything to go by, and in the final he lost to Federer, that he will be extremely popular.”
Murray and Djokovic have contested the last two major finals and Perkins thinks this could be a growing trend.
“It wouldn’t surprise me to see Murray number two in the world before long and he and Djokovic will be the next one-two battle for supremacy.”
The male British no.1 isn’t the only one flying the flag for Great Britain in major tournaments these days, with the youthful duo of Laura Robson and Heather Watson both reaching the women’s top 50 rankings.
Perkins said: “We’ve always said along the way that British success is always fantastic to have.
“It does create an extra buzz both in the run-up to and during Wimbldeon, and as British sports fans, clearly that’s something we want to see.”
The duo are both likely to appear on Centre Court in this year’s tournament, as Perkins explained: “They’re British numbers one and two, they’ll have a big following and there’s a fair chance that they’ll be on Centre Court and that does impose its own pressures as well.”
Throughout the rest of the year, Perkins insists the staff at the All England Club are not idle, with future planning and the consideration of new technologies a constant challenge.
He said: “If you stand still you’re really going backwards, it’s a very competitive world, the top echelon of international sports.”
The excitement around British tennis continued recently with the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton accepting an honorary membership from the All England Club.
Perkins explained: “We were obviously very honoured that she accepted our invitation.
“We’ve always had a long tradition of royal patronage, the Duke of Kent is our president at the moment and I’m sure certainly from an international and British perspective it’ll be great to have her here.”
The ticket ballot for this year’s tournament has already taken place but Perkins emphasises that if you want to go, hope is not lost.
He said: “We’re one of the very few sporting events of this stature who still sell tickets on the day.
“The famous Wimbledon queue is precisely because we have about 500 tickets for Centre Court for the first nine days.
“We also sell for courts number one, two and three plus the very popular ground tickets which allow you to go see the fantastic matches on the outside courts.
“We think that’s still a great part of the Wimbledon ticketing platform and long may it continue!”
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