Historically, grass courts have been the best for the 36-year-old who won two Grand Slam titles on the green surfaces as well as an Olympic gold medal. Therefore, it's not a surprise that after he experienced two disappointing losses on clay, the decision was made to skip the 2023 Roland Garros.
That gave Murray at least a couple of weeks that he's now ahead of the rest of the field, preparing on the grass courts. And already during the second week of the Roland Garros, the Scot will play a tournament on the grass court as he received a wild card for an ATP Challenger in Surbiton.
Murray's goal is obviously winning the Wimbledon Championship again, but according to former British No. 1, Tim Henman, that may be a step too far for the three-time Grand Slam champion. In Surbiton, he has a chance to prove that he's closer to it than others think, but he'll be facing a tough draw.
Already in the first round of the tournament, the second seed will play against former world no. 19 and 2018 Australian Open semifinalist, Hyeon Chung, who is the last man to beat Novak Djokovic in Melbourne.
However, the South Korean player is coming back from an injury that kept him out of play since 2020, and this year, he played only two matches in his home country, losing both. But Chung has undeniable potential to play great tennis.
If Murray masters the first task, he will then play against either James Duckworth or a qualifier. In the quarterfinals, the former world no. 1 may face another difficult challenge as his opponent may be the fifth-seeded Jason Kubler, who proved his qualities on multiple occasions recently, or always dangerous and big-serving Jiri Vesely, who is also coming back from an injury.
In the semifinals, Murray may encounter another group of very difficult opponents. From the third-seeded Mackenzie McDonald, to Jordan Thompson, or the seventh-seeded Ilya Ivashka, all opponents may be challenging.
And in the final, the biggest challenge may await Murray. An all-British battle with the first-seeded Daniel Evans may be played in Surbiton, but the former world no. 1 is surely thinking just one match at a time, looking at his next opponent.