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Murray confident before Wimbledon
Andy Murray is confident he will be ready to defend his Wimbledon title despite relinquishing his Queen's crown in a lacklustre straight-sets defeat to Radek Stepanek.
Murray admitted he "blew" the first set against 35-year-old Stepanek, wasting eight set points in the third-round Aegon Championships clash.
Three-time Queen's winner Murray lost out to a Petr Cech-inpsired Stepanek, the Chelsea goalkeeper in the Kensington crowd for his friend's 7-6 (12-10) 6-2 victory.
Murray will now take two days' total rest, before cranking up his Wimbledon preparations again on Sunday.
"I blew that first set and that's my fault," said Murray, who surrendered a 19-match winning streak on grass.
"I'll look forward to getting ready for Wimbledon, getting some peace and quiet in before it gets hectic again towards the end of next week.
"The next few days will be nice to have a bit of peace and quiet.
"I felt the first set was a pretty high standard and I felt he served pretty well throughout the match.
"But I've only got myself to blame that I lost the first set, I had a lot of set points, quite a lot on my serve and on that surface you shouldn't be losing sets from that position.
"Unfortunately I got broken in the first game of the second set and couldn't quite get it back."
Murray expects his first break for three weeks to boost his Wimbledon chances, after battling to the semi-finals of the French Open.
The two-time grand slam winner missed Roland Garros in 2013 with back trouble, paving the way for a long run-in to Queen's and Wimbledon - and he won both.
Asked if the defeat dents his chances of retaining his SW19 crown with Wimbledon staring on June 23, Murray said: "I don't think this so, I need to spend time on the courts practising some things.
"The difference between this year and last year is that I've played a lot of matches in the last couple of weeks.
"Last year I had about a week to 10 days' preparation before this tournament.
"That obviously helped me during the tournament because not all the other players had that.
"This year I've had two days to get ready.
"I'll take a couple of days off now, because since the Monday before the French Open I've played every single day bar one.
"So I'll take a couple of days off and on Sunday I'll be back here for the charity match, then I'll start practising Sunday evening and start getting ready.
"My best tennis has been on this surface, and all my best results have come after decent preparation time.
"My best tennis at the Olympics was after seven or eight weeks on grass."
Murray might have wasted those eight set points in the opening tie-break - but Stepanek defended them stoutly, before clinically claiming the crucial advantage with his first opportunity.
The one-time world number eight admitted he hopes Chelsea stopper Cech can continue to prove his Queen's lucky charm.
Stepanek met compatriot Cech when he claimed the Los Angeles ATP tour title in 2007, with Chelsea on a pre-season tour of the US west coast.
"I've known him for seven years and we have become very close," said Stepanek, hoping Cech's recovery from shoulder surgery will not stop him attending Friday's quarter-final against Kevin Anderson.
"He's a great friend of mine and a very important person for me, because of the way he's dealing with his sport, the way he's preparing, thinking about his sport.
"It motivates me: he shows that the little details are making the big differences.
"Seeing him now recovering from his injury, it's amazing.
"I hope so, he's definitely looking after himself, in his recovery, but I'm really pleased and honoured that he finds the time to come and support me."
Stepanek backed Murray to recover from defeat in time to launch a robust defence of his Wimbledon crown.
"I don't think they have to be worried," he said.
"It's his first week on grass, Andy was playing long in Roland Garros and it will all come together now in the days before Wimbledon starts.
"The best ones are always the best targets, it's always special to beat the top players.
"This is the Olympic, Queen's and Wimbledon champion, he has basically won everything here on grass - so beating him is great for me.
"The decider was the tie-breaker when I was 2-6 down, and I just kept fighting."
Elsewhere Tomas Berdych saw off Adrian Mannarino to book a quarter-final date with Feliciano Lopez, who edged out Kenny De Schepper.
Stan Wawrinka outclassed American Sam Querrey, while Grigor Dimitrov will meet Alexandr Dolgopolov in the last eight.