Murray confident time is on his side

Andy Murray believes today's players are reaching their peak much later

Andy Murray believes today's players are reaching their peak much later

First published in National Sport © by

Andy Murray will not be feeling the pressure of a ticking clock when he takes to the court for his opening match at his seventh Wimbledon against Nikolay Davydenko.

The Scot's bid to become the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win a grand slam singles title has become one of the nation's biggest sporting sagas, but optimism appears to be waning in some quarters. However, Murray believes the trend in tennis is towards players reaching their peak later, and he sees no reason why he cannot be the same.

"The average age of the top players is much, much older than it used to be because the game has become much more physical," said Murray, 25. "It has changed a lot so whereas before guys were playing their best tennis when they were younger, I think it is starting to happen now that guys are playing their best when they're older."

The lack of teenagers making the same breakthrough Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic did has been a big talking point in the game, but the next generation are finally making their mark.

Bernard Tomic, the only teenager in the top 100, reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year and is seeded 20th this time, while big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic and Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov are two to watch out for at SW19.

Murray thinks it will be a while before anyone breaks out of the pack to challenge for the biggest prizes, though, adding: "I don't see anyone breaking through and winning the title out of nowhere.

"Last year Tomic made the quarter-finals but he is already a very good player. He is in the top 30 in the world. There are a lot of tough, tough guys out there."

Raonic is one of several dangerous outsiders lurking in Murray's section of the draw, and if the Scot is to at least match his achievement of the last three years in making the semi-finals, he is likely to get a lot of practice at returning big serves.

The Canadian is a potential fourth-round opponent, and before then Murray could already have played 6ft 10in Ivo Karlovic and 6ft 8in Kevin Anderson.

Queen's champion Marin Cilic is another possible opponent, as is former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro, who Murray could face in the quarter-finals.

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