British wildcard Samantha relishing her first-round Wimbledon clash with Sharapova
London: Samantha Murray has admitted she faces the biggest match of her life in a “dream” first-round Wimbledon clash with Maria Sharapova.
Maria Sharapova during the 2013 Wimbledon championship in London. Pic/Getty Images.
The British wild card entrant will concede 237 world rankings places when taking on the newly-crowned French Open champion at SW19.
Murray admitted she will tread new territory against the fifth seed and world number five next week.
“When I first heard the draw I was a bit shocked, I just see it as great opportunity to play someone of her calibre,” said the 26-year-old from Stockport, ranked 242 in the world. “I assume I'll be on a big court as well so it's just a dream. I'm really interested to see how I do — how I stack up against one of the world's best ever champions.
“I've never played anybody in Sharapova's league; the highest ranked opponent I've ever had has been around the 50 mark.”
Determined to remain undaunted against former Wimbledon champion Sharapova, Murray hopes to benefit from first-round action last year.
“There's obviously a big gulf to make up in terms of rankings, but I just have to start strong, put my game on the court and try and impose myself on the match,” said Murray. “I'm under no illusion that this is the biggest match of my life, but this is the kind of thing you dream of.
“I've played at Wimbledon before so hopefully the experience will help me.”
17: The age at which Maria Sharapova won her maiden Wimbledon title in 2004
London: Defending champion Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, the man he beat in 2013 to capture Britain’s first Wimbledon title in 77 years, on Friday landed in the same half of this year’s draw, leaving Roger Federer the biggest winner.
Murray, who has been seeded three, could face top-seeded Djokovic in the last four while seven-time champion Federer, the fourth seed, is scheduled to renew his rivalry with world number one Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.
But Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, has been seeded second this year after losing in the first round in 2013 and getting knocked out in the second round 12 months earlier.
Nadal starts against Slovakia’s Martin Klizan with big-serving Ivo Karlovic a potential third round foe. — AFP