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Murray begins Wimbledon title quest

Published 30/06/2015

Bookmakers have made Andy Murray second favourite to win Wimbledon
Bookmakers have made Andy Murray second favourite to win Wimbledon

Andy Murray begins his battle for a second Wimbledon title amid soaring heatwave temperatures.

The world number three will be on Centre Court to play world number 58 Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.

He arrives in SW19 in what many - including himself - have described as the best form of his life.

Bookmakers have made him the second favourite to go all the way after he conquered a fourth title at Queen's last week in impressive fashion.

Following his wedding to long-time girlfriend Kim Sears in April, Murray, 28, has declared that "marriage works".

Fans gripped by Murray mania will be giving their support inside the All England Club or watching on from the big screen on Murray Mound and TV sets in homes and workplaces up and down the country.

Meanwhile, the mercury is forecast to hit 29C (84F) today, with even higher temperatures predicted for tomorrow.

Women players will be allowed a 10-minute break during matches if the "heat stress index" reaches 30.1C (86F), with some describing the rule as "sexist".

The odds of this year's tournament being the hottest ever - beating average temperatures of 25C (77F) during the scorching summer of 1976 - have been slashed to 2/1.

Meanwhile foul-mouthed players turned the air blue as 21-year-old Liam Broady became the first Briton to reach the second round.

Broady, who has a long-running feud with his father Simon, came from two sets down to win a five-set thriller in his Wimbledon debut but said he doubted the result would bring his family back together.

The player from Stockport picked up £47,000 in prize money but faces a hefty fine after he was caught swearing on court.

Five-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams - who included US rapper Drake in her entourage - was also cautioned for an "audible obscenity".

And Australian star Nick Kyrgios was forced to deny claims he called an umpire "dirty scum", insisting he was directing the insult at himself.

Johanna Konta was the first Briton to go out of the tournament when she was beaten in straight sets by Maria Sharapova on Centre Court.

The British number two, who was a wildcard entry, will pick up £29,000 as a first round loser.

Broady's sister Naomi also crashed out, with their father missing his son's win because he was with her on the practice courts.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic sailed through his first round match while seven-time champion Roger Federer begins his challenge today.

In the women's singles, last year's winner Petra Kvitova will get her title defence under way.

Local fans will be hoping that former British number one Laura Robson can put a 17-month lay off behind her.

The 21-year-old wildcard has been out with a wrist injury since the 2014 Australian Open.

Current British number one Heather Watson will be back to finish her match against France's Caroline Garcia after it was suspended at one-set all yesterday because of bad light.

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