Troicki: I can handle criticism

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Serbian Troicki insisted “I didn’t take it bad” when Murray criticised him over the missed drugs test in 2013 that led to a year-long suspension.

Murray reaffirmed that position on Friday night in previewing his Queen’s Club semi-final with the 29-year-old, challenging top tennis stars to protect the sport’s integrity by heeding anti-doping rules.

Troicki despatched America’s John Isner in straight sets in Friday’s last quarter-final, before attempting to take the sting out of Saturday’s meeting with Murray.

“I’ve talked about it before and I don’t want to go back really, but when he (Murray) said that I’m not sure how much he knew about my case,” Troicki said.

“I’ve known him since we were kids and juniors, but I didn’t take it bad.

“I had a lot of support from the other players which meant a lot to me.

“But that’s what he thought, so I didn’t take it hard.”

Murray proclaimed “I stand by what I said there” in relation to his original comments in the wake of Troicki’s year-long ban, reduced from 18 months on appeal.

Serbia star Troicki feared he may never recover from his ban, but has grafted back to reach world number 25.

Murray would only offer “it’s a difficult situation” on whether Troicki should be back in tennis owing to his drugs-ban past, but his semi-final opponent remained unfazed by those words.

Troicki instead vowed to keep defying expectations to people he claims “wanted to destroy my career”, relishing facing Murray, who edged past Gilles Muller in three testing sets.

“I had a tough year and if you look back 12 months ago I couldn’t play tennis, I was out of the game for a year,” said Troicki, who blasted past Isner 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 to book that Murray meeting.

“Looking at how things are now, it’s amazing and unreal, and like a fairy tale.

“It really makes me proud for what I’ve achieved.

“I try to enjoy every moment on court now and I cherish it much more.

“I never gave up; that’s the main thing. I always believed in myself, even though a lot of people never have.

“I have a lot of motivation and it’s helping me in the tough moments.

“My goal was to get back even better and just to prove to the people who wanted to destroy my career that they were wrong.

“They really tried to destroy me – but they cannot.”