Andy Murray has abundant confidence, but the self-awareness that belief alone will not guide him to a second Wimbledon title.
The in-form Scot starts tomorrow against Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin, a Russian-born 27-year-old who reached the third round last year.
Murray has been working with a sports psychiatrist, just like Britain’s Olympic cyclists and snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan have done to great effect, and surrounded himself with a team he trusts implicitly.
Arguably Murray is at the very peak of his career, with three titles and a win-loss record of 41-6 for the year so far demonstrating why many are tipping him to repeat his 2013 Wimbledon triumph.
There is only Novak Djokovic with a better overall record on tour in 2015, and the Serbian could await Murray in the final on July 12.
“I think in any sport, winning gives you confidence,” Murray said.
“This year I’ve won a lot of matches – more than I ever have in my career to this point in a season. It’s been a good start this year. I hope I can keep it up.”
Murray, 10 years on from his Wimbledon debut, will not allow himself to be caught up in the frenzy of expectation that surrounds his arrival at the All England Club each year.
Even with his recent playing record, the 28-year-old knows to start thinking about another Wimbledon final would be dangerous.
A run to the French Open semi-finals, the first two clay-court titles of his career, and another on grass at Queen’s Club this month, suggest all is well in the Murray camp.
Yet citing Stan Wawrinka’s unforeseen Roland Garros triumph as a case in point, he warns against expecting tournaments to proceed according to expectation.
“It’s very easy to get carried away and look ahead, and think, ‘I’m playing great tennis, everything’s going to be fine’,” Murray said.
“But the reality is it doesn’t really matter what’s happened the rest of the year or in the build-up to the event as I think Stan proved at the French Open.
“You have to make sure you’re ready each day for every opponent that you come up against.
“I’m certainly not getting carried away. I know how difficult these events are to win.
“I just concentrate on the first match and try my best to get through that one.”
Murray concedes to having found his recovery from back surgery arduous.
It was obvious as he exited Wimbledon at the quarter-final stage last year, beaten comprehensively by Grigor Dimitrov, that all was not right.
“The first sort of nine months really of last year were very, very difficult and I wasn’t enjoying it so much,” he said. Now he has to cope with the transition off the match court that will see Jonas Bjorkman take over from Amelie Mauresmo as Murray’s principal coach.
The Frenchwoman, who has proven an inspired choice as coach, is heading off after Wimbledon to have her first child.
Bjorkman loved Wimbledon as a player, winning three doubles titles and reaching the singles semi-finals in 2006 as a 34-year-old – albeit taking a clattering from Roger Federer in the last four.
Murray, who practised with Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis yesterday, quashed the suggestion he may have appointed the Swede for his grass-court expertise.
But he considered where Bjorkman excelled and believes he will nurture a new attacking dimension.
“When I approached Jonas, I knew him extremely well,” Murray said.
“Some of the things I wanted to work on in my game I felt like he could help me with because of his experience and playing that way, trying to come forward more, being aggressive on the returns. He was extremely good at that.
“That was really the reason to start working with him.”
Great Britain’s Johanna Konta has been handed a Centre Court slot for her Wimbledon first-round match against former champion Maria Sharapova.
Konta, who reached the quarter-finals of Eastbourne, will tackle 2004 Wimbledon winner Sharapova in the second match on the main show court. Sharapova is the fourth seed this year.
Their tussle follows the tradition of the men’s champion opening play on Centre Court.
Novak Djokovic, who defeated Roger Federer in last year’s final, begins his defence against German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Centre Court action is rounded off for the day today by the match between French Open champion Stan Wawrinka and Joao Sousa of Portugal.
Top seed Serena Williams will continue her quest for a calendar grand slam by taking on Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan to open proceedings on Court One, with sister Venus meeting fellow-American Madison Brengle on Court Three.
Nick Kyrgios and Lleyton Hewitt will hope for a happy Australian invasion on Court Two. Kyrgios takes on Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman before Hewitt, in his final Wimbledon ahead of retirement, faces Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen.
Britain’s Heather Watson will meet France’s Caroline Garcia in today’s final action on Court Two, while Liam Broady will take on Australia’s Marinko Matosevic on Court 18.
Naomi Broady will face Colombia’s Mariana Duque-Marino to complete British interest for the, with the court yet to be determined and the match not starting before 5.30pm.