Murray ready for Brown



Originally published on 04/07/17 00:00

It was a routine victory for the world No.1 but he had to be alert to deal with big second serves, sliced forehands and nonchalant dropshots from his Kazakhstani opponent – and it was the ideal preparation for his next challenge.

Dustin Brown does not play in a conventional manner and he is a joy to watch on his favourite surface. He is a born entertainer and his victory over Rafael Nadal on Centre Court two years ago is unlikely to be forgotten.

“Dustin plays a lot more up at that net that Bublik,” explained the Scot. “He [Brown] tends to come up with some great shots and he is a very entertaining player to watch, a great mover, a really good athlete and he’s got a good personality as well.

“He's unpredictable and he's going to go for it. He hits a lot of dropshots and he can play slice. Sometimes he hits two first serves, and goes for a huge second serves. It’s not easy to play players like that."

The German was prepared to divulge how he will approach the match with the home favourite. “I'm going to have to try and play the same way (as against Nadal), play aggressive," said Brown. "I'm just going to have to try and find a way to be aggressive and not allow him to play the type of game he wants to play.”

The pair have met just once before, at the US Open in 2010, and it was Murray who emerged victorious in straight sets.

Five matches to watch

Johanna Konta (GBR) [6] v Donna Vekic (CRO)

Konta and Vekic met let month in the final of the Nottingham Open and it was the Croatian who scored a surprise victory.

Vekic began her Wimbledon campaign with a three set victory over Natalia Vikhlyantseva and she has enjoyed the short grass-court season. With a big-serve and potent forehand, the 21-year-old has the firepower to concern her British opponent once again.

Konta, bidding to reach the third round at the All England Club for the first time, impressed in her 6-2 6-2 win over S-W. Hsieh but she will have to raise her game against the Croatian.

Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) v Simona Halep (ROU) [2]

Maia showed great composure as she defeated Laura Robson in the first round. The crowd may have been against the Brazillian, but the 21-year-old was unflustered and played the match firmly on her terms. She was dominant behind her first delivery – winning 30 of 36 points – and it’s easy to see why she has cracked the top 100 this year.

Halep has bounced back well from the disappointment of losing the French Open final and she will look to be in the mix at Wimbledon. It’s important that the Romanian doesn’t become too passive and allow her confident opponent to dictate.

Camila Giorgi (ITA) v Madison Keys (USA) [17]

This is unlikely to be a match of long rallies as both players will look to seize the initiative and dominate the centre of the court.

Giorgi can be inconsistent and reckless but she did reach the quarter-finals of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham. The Italian defeated Elina Svitolina in the West Midlands and she overcame Alize Cornet in the first round at the All England Club.

In normal circumstances, Keys would be amongst the contenders for the title. She is on the comeback trail, though, after undergoing minor wrist surgery just four weeks ago and any win at this stage of her recovery must be considered a bonus.

Jerzy Janowicz (POL) v Lucas Pouille (FRA) [14]

Janowicz reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon four years ago however little has gone right for him since. Poor form and a catalogue of injuries have hindered the uncompromising Pole but he remains a dangerous proposition on fast surfaces.

Pouille was pushed in his opening match with Malek Jaziri but he is often involved in protracted affairs. The No.14 seed, who won in Stuttgart last month, will expect to see off the challenge of his latest opponent.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) v Benoit Paire (FRA)

An all-French tie will take place on Court 14.

Herbert, who won the men’s doubles title at Wimbledon last summer, was leading Nick Kyrgios by two sets on Monday before the Australian retired. It was an impressive display from the Frenchman as he showcased his wonderful touch in the forecourt.

Paire may be hot-headed an erratic, but he is an undoubted talent. He has openly stated his dislike of grass in the past however he has the skillset to perform well on any surface.

The duo have only met once before and it was Herbert who claimed victory at the Paris Masters four years ago.


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