The barrage of criticism over the validity of a back injury that has affected Andy Murray for six months has met a withering response.
Murray struggled with his back at the French Open, particularly in his match with Jarkko Nieminen. The genuineness of that injury has been questioned by Virginia Wade, Tommy Haas and John McEnroe.
It was McEnroe's suggestion that the ailment is "mental" that particularly riled the world No 4.
"I think eight pain-killing injections in your back before the French Open justifies a genuine injury," he said.
"A lot of people have suggested that it hasn't been genuine. I've a genuine injury, a genuine back problem, it's not a mental thing.
"Often when things do start to get better, for a little while you can be oversensitive in that area and think 'oh, is that maybe right? Is that not right' or whatever but, yeah, with my back problem, it's certainly nothing that's mental. It's something that's there."
The depth of his feeling was apparent when he added: "Physically, I'm absolutely perfect. I'm just saying that if someone is going to say to me that my back injury is not genuine, they can come to see my reports from the doctors, they can see the pictures of a needle about eight inches long in my back. I'm not accepting it any more because it's not fair."
He would not give details of the injury beyond: "It's a problem I had for a while at the beginning of the year. I played through it for five months and it just got worse and then I took the injections and it feels better since I had them done. Simple."
He said the eight injections had been given in one day but he did not envisage any would be needed as he prepared for a Wimbledon that brings its routine challenges.
Murray will enter the tournament with the same mindset he takes into every match: he believes he can be champion.
"I have no other choice. I really don't think there's much point in playing any more if I don't think I can win the tournament.
"I will just prepare as best I can and believe I can win the tournament when it starts. See where it takes me."
There has been much comment that the top three of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have drawn away from the 25-year-old Scot but Murray is relaxed about perceptions and opinions.
"To me, things change in tennis on a weekly basis. It's about what happened last week and then what happens at Wimbledon. If I was to win Wimbledon everyone would say: 'There's no gap any more'.
"It's all about whether I can play my best tennis and about all the things I've been doing in practice, if I can put them into the matches. In Australia I did a good job at that and played some top-quality tennis. In some of the tournaments since then I haven't played as well. So I need to play my best tennis."
Murray comes to SW19 with Ivan Lendl, an eight-time Grand Slam winner, as his coach.
"It's a benefit having someone around that you respect and someone who has the experience of preparing for the big events and going in there believing you can win them.
"So it's obviously going to help having him around over this period. I've obviously quite a lot of time with him in a row from before the French Open, then the French Open, Queen's and this week, so it's been good."
He faces a difficult draw with such big-hitters as Milos Raonic, Kevin Anderson, Juan Martin del Potro and Ivo Karlovic likely to be thrown in his path. But first he will meet 31-year-old Russian Nikolay Davydenko on Tuesday.
"It will be tough," said Murray of an opponent who has reached two semi-finals this year and is now ranked 47th in the world.
"He was in the top four or five players for a number of years. He's won some big events. He's won the tour finals. He's won Masters Series. He hasn't played so well this year, but he has a lot of experience."
Of potential clashes with heavy hitters, Murray said: "It's always a tough match when you play against big servers. I've had a good record against them in the past.
"It can be quite mentally challenging playing against them because you can't really lose focus on your own serve, even if it's just for a few points. It can be tough to break them. Big servers usually play better when they're ahead, as well."
But he emphasised: "It would be stupid for me to look past Davydenko. Although I'm sure many people will, I won't be making that mistake."
After his second successive defeat to Nadal in the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year, Murray said he needed to improve his game by 10-15% to win a major. How close is he?
"On that given day when I played Rafa I needed an extra – I don't think it was 15%, 5% would have been sufficient," he said of losing in four sets after taking the first.
"Since then, some days I've had it, some days I haven't. I need to make sure the days when I'm playing my best tennis are more regular than they have been over the last few months, but we'll see at the end of Wimbledon. There's no point talking about it now because we don't know. Time will tell. In two weeks we'll find out."
Many words will be spilled on to newsprint before then. Those doubting a back injury, though, should be issued with a health warning if their scepticism is articulated within the hearing of a certain competitor from Dunblane.
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