Murray: England Euros bid doesn't affect Wimbledon
Andy Murray insists England's ongoing run at the Euro 2012 Championship will deflect none of the pressure away from him as he prepares to kick off his Wimbledon campaign next week.
Murray, seeded fourth for the year's third grand slam, has been going through a disappointing period in the season, failing to emulate his 2011 semi-final appearance at the French Open, before crashing out at Queen's in his opening match.
As a result, the British No. 1 has opted to take part in a couple of exhibition matches this week, starting with a 6-7(5) 6-4 10-7 defeat to Janko Tipsarevic on Wednesday. Murray commented after the encounter that he felt like he was "moving much better than a week ago" as he spoke confidently about his Wimbledon hopes.
With England potentially grabbing all the headlines if they beat Italy on Sunday at the Euros, the early stages of Murray's Wimbledon title pursuit are likely to be kept off the back pages. But he insists that alleviates none of the pressure that comes with being the nation's only genuine hope.
"It makes no difference, I say it every year, whether it's a big football tournament coming up or the Olympics, it makes no difference to me," Murray said.
"I put pressure on myself. Not necessarily after the French Open specifically, every time I go to a big event I want to prove to myself that I'm at the top, and the same goes for Wimbledon."
Murray has never been past the semi-finals at SW19, a stage he reached for a third time last year. The plan is to go one better, and Murray stopped short of agreeing with the suggestion that the men's game is more competitive than ever.
"There's a lot of tough guys around, there's a lot of big servers who are tough early on in grass tournaments," Murray said.
"I don't know if the competition is stronger than it was five years ago, but it's definitely tough. When you're in amongst it, it's tough to tell, but about three years ago it physically definitely went to another level."