Andy Murray wins the Surbiton Trophy in the first round over Chung Hyeon.
Andy Murray believes he would “fancy” beating many of the world’s top ten players on grass.
In the first round of the Surbiton Trophy Challenger event, the former world number one defeated South Korean Chung Hyeon 6-3 6-2.
Murray, 36, skipped the French Open to focus on the grass-court season, where he hopes to be seeded.
“It’s difficult to put a number on it, but I’d put myself up against a lot of them [the top 10],” he remarked.
Speaking after his first victory since winning the Aix-en-Provence Challenger title last month, the two-time Wimbledon winner relied on his run to the Stuttgart final last June to demonstrate that he remained a threat on his favorite surface.
“Last year, I beat [Nick] Kyrgios, who made the Wimbledon final, and I beat [Stefanos] Tsitsipas – it’s probably not his favorite surface, but he’s one of the best players in the world,” Murray added.
“I was a set up with [Matteo] Berrettini, who is clearly one of the top few grass-court players, in the Stuttgart final before I hurt my abs.”
Murray was ranked outside the top 50 at the start of Wimbledon 2022.
He has made it clear that he wants to be rated higher in order to avoid encountering elite players early in tournaments and give himself a greater chance of progressing farther in events.
“I’m currently ranked 41 in the world and believe I can go even higher.” Obviously, I played well here [Surbiton] and in Stuttgart last year, and I believe I need roughly 300 points [to be seeded at Wimbledon], so I’ll have to do well in the coming weeks if I want to accomplish that,” Murray said.
“If I have a good tournament at Queen’s, if I make the final or win the tournament there, I will be seeded, but I need to focus on my performances.”
“Simply thinking about points is not always the best way to look at things.” I’ll just attempt to win as many matches as I can and see if I can get in.”
Murray plays with a metal hip after having surgery in 2019 to repair an injury that appeared to be his last.
“I still want to win, I want to compete, and I want to see how hard I can push my body,” Murray added.
“After the operations, I was told I might be able to play again, so I’m just curious how far I can go.”
Chung, a former Australian Open semi-finalist, kept up with Murray’s level early in the encounter on Monday. However, after securing the break in the opening set, the Scot gained confidence.
Throughout the match, the three-time Grand Slam champion served eight aces and only fell one point behind his second serve, finishing with a superb serve and forehand combination.
In round two, Murray will face either British qualifier Harry Wendelken or Chinese qualifier Bu Yunchaokete.
Ryan Peniston advanced to the second round as well, defeating former world number 35 Jiri Vesely 6-4, 6-2.
Peniston, 27, of the United Kingdom, was broken in the first game of the match but returned to defeat Czech Vesely, who entered the event using a protected ranking following a period of injury.
Next up for the world number 192 is Australian fifth seed Jason Kubler.
Last summer, Peniston made headlines for his grass-court achievements, reaching the quarter-finals at Surbiton, Nottingham, Queen’s, and Eastbourne and defeating two-time Grand Slam finalist Casper Ruud and world number six Holger Rune.
Other British players slated to compete this week include 2019 winner Dan Evans, Heather Watson, and Katie Boulter.