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Murray still has hopes of starring at Wimbledon

Old routine: Andy Murray in his first match in almost a year, against Nick Kyrgios at Queen’s
Old routine: Andy Murray in his first match in almost a year, against Nick Kyrgios at Queen’s

By Paul Newman

He may have spent the last 11 months on the sidelines, but there is a familiar name grabbing the attention in the build-up to Wimbledon.

Andy Murray is finally back on court after a long battle with a hip injury that forced the three-time Grand Slam champion to undergo surgery at the start of the year.

The 31-year-old played his first match since limping out of last year’s Wimbledon quarter-final when he took on Nick Kyrgios at the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club this week and, although he lost, the level of his performance was promising.

Murray refused to commit to playing at Wimbledon, setting up more ‘Will he? Won’t he?’ intrigue after last year’s doubts over his participation.

Given he played on virtually one leg in 2017, unless anything goes drastically wrong between now and July 2 it seems unthinkable that Murray will not be in the draw.

The Scot will see how he fully recovers from his first game back before deciding on what to do.

“It’s something I need to speak to my team about,” the two-time Wimbledon champion said.

“(If) I wake up and I really don’t feel good the day after, then that’s obviously not a great sign for, you know, best-of-five-set tennis at this stage.

“However, if I pulled up and felt okay, then that’s a good sign. At the end of my match (against Kyrgios), I was certainly tired, but it wasn’t like I was completely off my feet and didn’t feel like I could move any more and stuff.

“But potentially if it was a five-setter, that could have been another hour and a half of tennis and probably would have been difficult for me.

“So that’s something I’ll need to kind of assess over the next day or so, couple of days, and speak to my team a bit about, see where I go from here.”

Whether or not Murray plays, Kyle Edmund will go into Wimbledon as British No.1 for the first time.

The 23-year-old has stepped up in Murray’s absence over the last year, breaking into the world’s top 25, largely thanks to a run to the last four at the Australian Open.

Expectations will be high this year for Edmund, who has only previously won one main draw match at Wimbledon.

Having Murray back on the scene might just help alleviate the pressure on the Yorkshireman, but Edmund is happy to have him around anyway.

Edmund said: “For someone to be out nearly a year, it’s always good to see him back, but especially someone like Andy who obviously in British tennis is huge.

“And then I guess on a personal level he’s always been really good to me, has helped me when I was younger and supported me.

“So when he’s been through a tough stage or period, it’s good to see him back.”

Cameron Norrie has also enjoyed a rise to prominence in the last year, climbing to 80th in the world after some impressive results, while Dan Evans is back on the scene.

Evans will need to win six matches in the next eight days if he is to play at Wimbledon after the All England Club decided on a point of principle not to give the 28-year-old Briton a wildcard following his one-year suspension for a drugs offence.

Stan Wawrinka failed to convert 12 break points as he lost to Sam Querrey in the second round at Queen’s. The Swiss, who has dropped to 261st in the world after injury, was beaten 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 6-1 by the American.

Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion, wasted seven set points at 5-4 in the first set and only capitalised on one of 13 break points in the match.

Querrey dominated on serve, hitting 25 aces.

Querrey will face Croatian top seed Marin Cilic, who came from behind to beat Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller 4-6 6-3 6-3.

American Frances Tiafoe reached his first ATP grass-court quarter-final with a 6-4 2-6 6-4 win over Leonardo Mayer of Argentina.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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