Andy Murray’s next Wimbledon opponent Robin Haase believes his record against the British No 1 proves he is capable of springing a shock in the second round.
Haase faces Murray today, knowing he pushed the world No 3 to his physical limits at last year’s US Open when the Dutchman came close to forcing a fifth set, having won the third 6-1 before leading 4-1 in the fourth.
Murray battled to victory but it was not the first time he had experienced difficulty against Haase, after the Scot was taken to five sets in another meeting at Flushing Meadows in 2011.
It means Murray has won the pair’s last four meetings since Haase won their first ever encounter at Rotterdam in 2008, but the world No 78 believes he has shown he can trouble the Briton.
“It’s tough to beat a guy like Andy in the best-of-five match but if you’re getting close, of course you can win,” said Haase, who saw off Colombian Alejandro Falla in the first round.
“I was in the fourth set last year and even 4-1 up and then there were two long rallies with some smashes, and one I made mistake and one I didn’t hit and he hit a passing shot.
“Then the momentum changed the game. If I could win that fourth set, you never know. It’s only one more set.”
Murray came through a tricky first-round match against Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin on Tuesday but will have to raise his game against Haase, who beat Ivo Karlovic and Fernando Verdasco en route to the s-Hertogenbosch semi-finals last month.
The Scot spent an hour in practice with fellow Briton James Ward yesterday morning and then stayed out for an extra 30 minutes to hit with new coach Jonas Bjorkman.
The addition of Bjorkman has added fresh impetus to Murray’s game this year as the 28-year-old looks to beat Haase and seal his seventh consecutive win on grass.
“I haven’t played him that recently, I played him in slams a few times,” Murray said of this second-round opponent.
“I played him twice at the US Open and had two very difficult matches against him there. I played him once in Australia, where I played a very good match.
“He’s a tough opponent. He likes grass. He enjoys playing on the big courts so it will be tough.”