Andy Murray may have only been married a couple of weeks but he will desperate to shake off his tag as a veritable bridesmaid to Novak Djokovic’s bride when it comes to taking all the glory in the ATP Tour this year.
The Serbian has been in quite sensational form, with victory in the Monte Carlo Masters maintaining a run of 17 matches without defeat for the 27-year-old.
That title win also saw Djokovic become the first man to ever win the opening three Masters tournaments of the season and sent a clear message of intent to all-comers.
Murray is all too aware of the Serb’s current form, having already lost to the world no.1 on three separate occasions this year.
First there was the Australian Open final, with the Scot fighting bravely until a fourth-set collapse in Melbourne.
Then, nearly two months later, Djokovic was at it again, dispatching Murray in two sets at Indian Wells before claiming another win over the Team GB favourite – albeit this time in three sets – at the recent Miami Open.
Now due on court in Munich as part of the 2015 BMW Open, a small part of the 27-year-old must be pleased to see Djokovic’s name absent from the seedings for the tournament.
After all, the Serbian is starting to develop quite the hoodoo over Murray, with 18 victories over the former Wimbledon winner to his nine.
But while a victory over Djokovic may have proven elusive in recent encounters, the Bavarian International Tennis Championships do offer the chance for the Scot to show he is the best of the rest as it were.
With the French Open just around the corner, Murray will be all-too-aware that the Serbian’s one weak spot remains Roland Garros, with it remaining the one major to elude the Australian Open champion.
Murray was a semi-finalist in 2014, going down in straight sets to Rafael Nadal.
Yet with the King of Clay looking a little shaky in recent times, 2015 could be the year someone finally steals his crown.
With Djokovic less prolific on clay, the opportunity for Murray to outstrip the Serb is there for the taking.
But in order to go into the tournament brimming with the kind of confidence that has seen the Scot previously win majors at Flushing Meadows and Wimbledon, lifting the Bavaria title could be essential.
More importantly, with all matches played on outdoor clay courts, it could provide the ideal practice to help Murray get an edge on his French Open rivals.
Another big day could soon be on the horizon for the Scot.
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