London - Andy Murray warned Novak Djokovic
he has the champagne on ice as the Queen's Club history-maker plots to end the
world number one's reign as Wimbledon champion.
Murray completed the perfect warm-up for
Wimbledon when the world number two defeated Milos Raonic 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-3
on Sunday to retain the Queen's title and lift the trophy for a record fifth
With Wimbledon getting under way on June
27, Murray looks well placed to emulate his historic 2013 triumph at the All
But the 29-year-old knows he is likely to
have to defeat Djokovic, who has won Wimbledon for the last two years, to earn
the third Grand Slam of his career.
Despite losing to Djokovic in 13 of their
past 15 meetings, including this year's Australian and French Open finals,
Murray believes the return to his camp of coach Ivan Lendl this week can make
the difference in the grass-court Grand Slam.
And, asked what he would do with the large
bottle of champagne given to him by Queen's officials, Murray issued a
statement of intent to Djokovic.
"I'll take it home, I guess, and
hopefully maybe have something to celebrate in a few weeks. Yeah, keep it for
after Wimbledon," he said.
While Djokovic has been resting following
the long-awaited completion of his career Grand Slam at Roland Garros, Murray
has been honing his grass-court game and getting reacquainted with Lendl, who
proved an invaluable presence when the Scot defeated Djokovic in the Wimbledon
and US Open finals.
Murray is also encouraged by reaching four
finals in his last four tournaments, a run that has brought him two titles
including his victory over Djokovic on the Rome clay in May.
"I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have done
that before," Murray said. "It's a sign things are going the right
direction the last few months.
"I'm giving myself chances every week
right now and winning a lot of matches.
"It's been a good three months or so,
and I need to try to keep that up between now and the end of the year. That's
Since claiming his first ever ATP Tour
match win at Queen's in 2005, the venue has retained a special place in
Murray's heart and he was visibly moved by surpassing four-time champions John
McEnroe, Boris Becker, Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt.
"It's a tournament that obviously
means a lot to me. It's been my most successful tournament by far," he
"To be the first player to win five
times, it's not an easy tournament to win. It always has a great field and the
players I have beaten in the finals have been top players."
Murray won't be resting on his laurels however
and he will head straight to Wimbledon for a practice session on Monday.
"It's obviously good preparation to
win the event right beforehand, but I still have eight days until my first
match at Wimbledon, so there's time to make things better and there's also time
to mess things up," he said.
"If I have five rubbish days of
practice and don't put everything into it and concentrate on what I'm trying to
do and get better, then I can go into Wimbledon feeling rubbish.
"It's been great, but I'm aware that I
need to stay on it these next seven days. If I do that, then I'll put myself in
a good position."
Murray does at least plan to spend a day or
two with wife Kim and baby Sophia before the Wimbledon whirlwind.
"I'll take a couple of off-days next
week because I need it," he said.
"Most of the time it's just being
around the family, go for a walk with the dogs, do normal stuff away from the
court. I'm looking forward to it."