Andy Murray column

Aegon Championships

  • Venue: Queen's Tennis Club, London
  • Date: 6-12 June

Coverage: Live coverage on BBC Two, online (UK only) and BBC HD and text commentary (#bbctennis) on BBC Sport website; and commentary on Radio 5 live and sports extra

Murray reaches last eight at Queen's

It's felt like a hectic start to my grass-court season after such a long run at the French Open, but I'm into the quarter-finals at Queen's and feeling good.

I've had two good wins and yet I feel like I've spent most of the time talking about my ankle injury. Well, the good news is it's feeling much better and I can really concentrate on the tennis from now on.

Everything felt a bit more rushed than usual coming into Queen's this year because I made the semis at the French Open for the first time, so I only had two days to prepare for grass rather than the five or six I'm used to.

I took one day off after Paris and came down to practise at Queen's on the Sunday, hoping to test out the ankle and see how it felt after coming off the painkillers, but it hosed down with rain and we could only play indoors for a bit.

I got one practice in on the grass on Monday, and then on Tuesday I was supposed to be playing doubles, so I had to make a decision pretty quickly on whether I was actually going to play or not. Did I feel comfortable enough to go on the court having not really practised much on grass?

With Wimbledon just around the corner it was tough, because I want to be in the best shape possible for the start of the biggest tournament of the year, but I'm glad I decided to play and the ankle's feeling OK. It might not heal quite as quickly but I know I'm not doing it any more damage.

Roger Federer was criticised by the tournament director at Halle for pulling out the night before. It's happened to me a few times when I've had to withdraw, and it's tough but it happens

It was a nervous time for me and I'm sure the organisers at Queen's felt the same but they were great and didn't put any pressure on. Chris Kermode, the tournament director, understands the players' point of view with injuries and he wasn't too stressed out - or if he was, he didn't show it!

It's not an unusual situation and there has been a similar story in Germany this week, where Roger Federer was criticised by the tournament director at Halle for pulling out the night before. It's happened to me a few times when I've had to withdraw, and it's tough but it happens, especially given the demands we put on our bodies.

I must say, though, that as a player I understand completely why Roger wouldn't play the tournament, and to me it's probably the right decision for him.

Any uncertainty I had about this week is behind me now and I'm concentrating on building on a couple of solid performances. I was hitting the ball more cleanly against Janko Tipsarevic and going for my second serve a lot more, something I'll need to keep doing if I want to win the title.

It's been great to spend time back at home and I did manage to get out for a walk with the dogs when I got back from Paris, but obviously I'm spending most of my time at Queen's Club, so there hasn't been much opportunity for anything beyond relaxing and catching up with some TV.

I got back late the other night and saw a little bit of The Apprentice for the first time this series, because my girlfriend records them. I got a bit of a shock actually as the episode was set around where I used to live and they went to Wandsworth tip, which my old apartment used to overlook. It was quite a view, very glamorous!

That caught my attention so I guess I'll have to go back and watch the others now, it's got me hooked, but I'm hoping to be too busy with matches over the next few days. I'd love to win this tournament again.

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