Andy Murray is used to being honoured. The Queen got the ball rolling by making him a knight of the realm (although he prefers not to be known as Sir Andy) last New Year.
Whether he respects me or not, I'm going to go out on the court, you know, expecting to play great tennis, give it a good shot. I'll need to be ready Andy Murray
Now Dustin Brown admits he is “honoured” to be facing the defending champion and world No.1 in Centre Court in the second round of Wimbledon.
Murray takes the compliment but it does not soften his approach against the dreadlocked German who stunned Rafa Nadal at The Championships two years ago and says: “I’ll need to be ready.”
The 30-year-old Scot said: “I know Dustin pretty well. We get on well with each other. We message each other from time to time. I like him. He’s really, really a nice guy. But in terms of the match, I expect him to be very aggressive. I think he’ll go for his shots.
” I think he’ll come forward a lot. He’s unpredictable. Going to go for it. Also you know he hits a lot of dropshots. He can play slice. Sometimes he hits two first serves, goes for a huge second serve. It’s not easy to play players like that.
“He’s obviously had a big win here in the past against Rafa. Whether he respects me or not, I’m going to go out on the court, you know, expecting to play great tennis, give it a good shot. I’ll need to be ready.”
Murray, who has had a hip problem on the back of a first-round exit at Queen’s, made the semi-finals of the recent French Open after spending most of the year struggling with form and physical ailments.
But does he feel better about his game in comparison to Paris? He said: “Yeah, I think more because it’s the surface I feel a little bit more comfortable on. Obviously on the clay, it’s a surface that I’ve done well the last couple years, but it’s not my most natural surface. If I’m not feeling confident, I haven’t won a lot of matches, I’m not feeling great, then that one’s going to feel a little bit worse.
“I’ll be a bit more nervous going into a tournament than maybe this one where I know I didn’t have many matches. But I feel a lot more comfortable on the grass courts. I love playing on Centre Court, feel really comfortable out there. So, you know, that definitely helps.”
Unseeded Brown, 32, from Germany, intends to adopt a similar game plan to the one which felled former champion Nadal in 2015.
He said: “I’m going to have to try and play the same way, play aggressive. Like I said, it’s tough. Andy is one of the best returners out there. Like I said, I feel like the balls are a lot slower and it’s not making it as easy to play aggressive and play only serve and volley.
“Yeah, just gonna have to try and find a way, yeah, to be aggressive and try and not have him play the type of game he wants to play. Same thing today. Just to try and take them out of their comfort zone.
“Obviously it’s an honour playing against him. I think last time we played was US Open 2010. He won in three sets. Yeah, we’ll see what happens out there this time.”