Dubai: Andy Murray believes his chances of reprising his historic 2013 Wimbledon triumph may have been helped by long awaited changes in the grass court calendar.
The first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win the oldest Grand Slam title, Murray took time out Thursday, before his surprise exit from the Dubai Open at the hands of Croatian teenager Borna Coric, to offer approval of the extra grass court week before this year`s Wimbledon.
Players and pundits have been saying for decades that the French Open, on clay, and Wimbledon, on grass, should be separated by more than two weeks, so the transition from one to the other becomes less troublesome.
Now that this is shortly to happen, Murray, who is playing better than at any time since breaking the 77-year Wimbledon hoodoo, has spoken of his liking for it.
"I think it can help, for sure," he said. "I mean, I know obviously the year that I won Wimbledon (2013) I didn`t play the French Open and had basically a much longer period on the grass.
"Also, when I thought I played very well at the Olympics (on grass at Wimbledon in 2012) that was, for me, some of the best tennis I`ve ever played.
"That was after spending an extended period of time on the grass through Queen`s, Wimbledon, and then, you know, a couple of weeks` preparation."
Murray`s conclusion is that three weeks of grass court play and practice this year will more nearly replicate his preparation before the two most important triumphs of his career. It will though help other players too, he points out.
"I think it can help guys that aren`t so comfortable on the grass," Murray explained.
"But also I would expect that maybe during the first couple of weeks there will be less upsets because guys will have more opportunity to get used to the surface and play more warm-up events or practice matches. I think it`s really beneficial for everybody, to be honest."
Murray also thinks the lengthened grass court swing will be healthier - helping players avoid injuries brought about by the different kind of movements required on different surfaces, or by over-playing.
"I think it`s one of the hard things - and I know it sounds like players are complaining about it - but you can go from playing on a clay court to playing on a grass court in the space of two days. It isn`t good for the body," said Murray.
"No physiotherapist, physical trainer, doctors would say that that`s the right thing to do, so I think having an extra week, if guys want to get some practice and actually build into the surface, it`s going to help everyone."
Without creating extra pressure for himself Murray clearly hopes that the changes will help him more than most. In which case the 27-year-old London-based Scot could be heading for more heroics at Wimbledon.