Fed­erer backs in­jured Murray to defend ti­tle

The New Age (KwaZulu-Natal) - - Sport -

ROGER Fed­erer ex­pects Andy Murray to defend the Wim­ble­don ti­tle de­spite his hip in­jury scare, but he warned the world No 1 not to play through the pain if he is se­ri­ously hurt.

Murray’s fit­ness has be­come a ma­jor is­sue ahead of the start of Wim­ble­don on Mon­day af­ter the Scot was forced to pull out of two grass-court ex­hi­bi­tion matches at the Hurling­ham Club this week.

The two-time Wim­ble­don win­ner with­drew from fac­ing Lu­cas Pouille on Tues­day due to his sore hip, then opted not to take part in his sched­uled prac­tice ses­sion on Wed­nes­day.

Yes­ter­day, Murray re­vealed he wouldn’t play his sec­ond ex­hi­bi­tion to­day be­cause he wanted to con­tinue rest­ing his hip.

With Wim­ble­don just days away, Murray’s fit­ness woes have sparked fears he might miss the tour­na­ment.

But as the de­fend­ing cham­pion, Murray has the hon­our of open­ing pro­ceed­ings on Wim­ble­don’s Cen­tre Court next week and Fed­erer be­lieves the 30 year old will be there for the start of the tour­na­ment. “We’re talk­ing like he’s in hospi­tal al­most. It seems like he can’t walk no more,” Fed­erer told re­porters at a Laver Cup launch in Wim­ble­don yes­ter­day.

“The way I know Andy, he is tough as nails. I feel like he will be there on open­ing Mon­day. There are in­juries and in­juries. He would have to be se­ri­ously in­jured not to play.

“For me if he can be get through the first round and feel bet­ter af­ter he should play. I ex­pect him to play.”

While Fed­erer is con­fi­dent top seed Murray will be ready to fea­ture at the All Eng­land Club, the seven-time Wim­ble­don cham­pion ac­knowl­edged it would be fool­ish to play if he doesn’t be­lieve he is fit enough to make it through the gru­elling two-week tour­na­ment.

“You would need to feel like you could play for 14 days, if you feel you can only play one match it isn’t good enough,” Fed­erer said.

“Go­ing over the best-of-five sets over two weeks, only the tough ones will sur­vive, it will flush you out.

“You need to feel con­fi­dent in your body oth­er­wise, what’s the point?” – Reuters

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