Mats Wilander predicts Andy Murray is capable of Wimbledon heroics

Andy Murray posing

Mats Wilander sparked a heated debate when he suggested Andy Murray might not be worthy of a wildcard for last year’s French Open, yet he has now back the two-time Wimbledon champion to have a final hurrah on the game’s biggest stages.

A Wimbledon wildcard will be a certainty for the Scot if he does not make the draw automatically and Wilander suggests his lack of match practice will not end his hopes of a lengthy run at the All England Club.

Speaking to Tennis365 at a Eurosport event, the former world No 1 gave an upbeat assessment of Murray’s hopes of enjoying a lengthy run in front of his home fans at Wimbledon.

“He can get to a quarter-finals at Wimbledon, for sure,” Wilander told us. “He could have a couple of heroic efforts on Centre Court against lower-ranked players and get a bit of confidence.

“Obviously the draw is going to be massive. If he gets drawn against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round or Roger (Federer), Rafa (Nadal) and Novak (Djokovic), then it’s a problem.

“Throw him into a fourth round and we are all fired up, like it’s the last moment for him. Yeah, then he can beat the players like Tsitsipas, (Alexander) Zverev and these top guys, for sure.

“Very reachable to get to a fourth round or the quarters, but beating someone like Novak or Rafa might be too much for him right now as those guys will refuse to be beaten by him now.”

Murray pulled out of an attempt to make his latest comeback from injury at the French Open next week and has instead focused his attention on being at his best for the grass court season, with Wilander backing that decision.

“What Andy needs is to play tournaments that make him play slightly more aggressively against the big hitters and not rely on them missing,” he added. “On clay, he doesn’t have the weapons to hurt his opponents, so he tends to fall back and wait for them to miss.

“For his tennis, I think it is a better idea to not play on clay. He plays on clay pretty similar to the way he plays on grass, so maybe it was the right decision for him to focus on the surface that is his best.

“One issue may be that playing on clay doesn’t hurt your body as much as grass or hard courts. There is an idea that clay is physically demanding, but that is wrong. It’s much easier to slide around on a clay court than it is on a grass court or a clay court, where your lower back hurts after a long game.”

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