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22 June 2015, 06:45
Andy Murray believes he is playing as well as when he won Wimbledon two years ago but admits form counts for little when it comes to the crunch of a grand slam.
Murray is gunning for a third major title next month and he will arrive at the All England Club buoyed by the best clay-court season of his career, which culminated in a narrow five-set defeat to Novak Djokovic in the French Open semi-final.
It was Djokovic, too, who beat him in the final at the Australian Open in January but the grass has become a source of comfort and confidence for Murray, ever since he beat the Serb to end Britain's 77-year wait for a men's Wimbledon champion in 2013.
It is ten years ago this year that Murray, a gangly 18-year-old ranked 312th in the world and crippled by cramp, lost in a dramatic five-setter to David Nalbandian on his debut in SW19.
After the loss, Murray had said he "felt like he belonged on Centre Court" and the three semi-finals, one final and a Championship triumph since are testament to his early instincts.
The British number one will be considered second favourite to repeat his 2013 success this time around, even if he is not recognised as such in the seedings, but Djokovic's failure in the final at Roland Garros is a stark example of momentum taking you only so far.
The world number one looked set for his 29th consecutive victory, having beaten Rafael Nadal, and Murray, on route to the final in Paris but he suffered only a second defeat in 18 meetings against Stan Wawrinka to ensure his wait for a first French Open title continued.
"I don't think I'm playing any worse than I was then (in the build-up to his Wimbledon win)," Murray said.
"Sometimes matches don't quite go your way, but in Australia I definitely felt like I was playing very, very good tennis, similar to the level I was playing when I won in New York.
"And during the clay season is by far the best I've played and the closest I've come to winning in Paris.
"But everything can change in a matter of days.
"No one would have expected Stan to win in Paris so there's no guarantees.''
Djokovic remains the principal threat to Murray claiming a second Wimbledon crown but Wawrinka has proven he is a match for anyone at the top of his game while there is a sense Roger Federer's entire year has been building up to his most favoured tournament.