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In his Sky Sports interview, he said: “It’s important to enjoy moments like that. If all you get from playing tennis is relief all of the time then that’s not a nice emotion to feel when you achieve something.
“You want to try and enjoy it and be happy about it, so if I get there, I will be very pleased because I’ve worked hard the last few weeks and it’s been tough. I’ve won some very hard matches so hopefully I will get there.”
He will need to relish the chance to meet out some revenge at Dimitrov. The Bulgarian has built on his success in Stockholm last year, picking up titles on all three surfaces this year, including two wins over Murray in 2014. When they last met on a hard court, he came back from a set down in the Acapulco semi-final, besting Murray in the other two tie-break sets, before knocking the then defending Wimbledon champion out of the tournament in the quarter-final in straight sets.
Dimitrov is much improved this year, keen to shake off the tedious “Baby Fed” tag that dogged him for most of last year and be seen as a quality player in his own right, and his results this year have set him on that path. His confident dismissal in the second round of Pablo Cuevas sets out a message of intent, and Murray will have been thankful of a straight sets round to ease his tired frame back into it.
A win here would guarantee Murray’s place but the path is less clear cut for Dimitrov. He needs to win the tournament outright to guarantee his debut in London, and the Belgian’s progress plays a big part in Murray’s future.
Should the No. 1 Brit fall in the next match, then he still qualifies unless:
Either: Dimitrov wins the tournament, beating Milos Raonic in the final. Tomas Berdych would have to make the semi-final, and Kei Nishikori would need to advance to the quarter-final.
Or: Raonic and David Ferrer make it to the final, Berdych makes it to the semi-final, and Nishikori loses to Ferrer along the way!
It is a lot to think about for the Belgian all-court player who can still slip up in matches he is expected to win, and knowing that he outplayed Murray completely at Wimbledon will give him an edge of confidence. But there has been something very pleasing about how Murray has weathered many a roller-coaster these past five weeks. At the start of the year he was losing matches he would normally have romped through, and not taking chances. Now he growls at every missed opportunity, and there is a return to a more tenacious side for the first time since his back surgery.
Murray and Dimitrov are scheduled on Court Central, not before 1:30pm (12:30pm GMT).