Mur­ray shrugs of in­jury ahead of opener

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

LON­DON: Andy Mur­ray yes­ter­day an­nounced his wife Kim is ex­pect­ing their sec­ond child, but doesn’t ex­pect it to have an ef­fect on his Wim­ble­don ti­tle de­fence.

The world num­ber one also re­as­sured that he is again fully fit af­ter deal­ing with a hip prob­lem last week which forced him to skip a pair of Lon­don ex­hi­bi­tion ap­pear­ances.

The Mur­rays mar­ried in 2015 and have a one-year-old daugh­ter, Sophia.

“We’re both obviously very happy and look­ing for­ward to it,” the 30-yearold said.

“I’ll be fine deal­ing with that. It’s cer­tainly not a dis­trac­tion in the slight­est.”

Mur­ray starts his cam­paign to­day in the tra­di­tional holder’s open­ing match as he faces Rus­sia’s Alexan­der Bub­lik.

Mur­ray said he has put his hip worries be­hind him, and can now con­cen­trate on his ten­nis.

“The last few days have been very good. Prac­tice each day has got a lit­tle bit bet­ter. It’s been slightly stop-start prepa­ra­tions. But each day I’ve felt bet­ter,” he said.

Mur­ray will be bid­ding for his third home grand slam crown, with a strong favourites’s chal­lenge from Roger Fed­erer, fight­ing fit and hold­ing four 2017 ATP ti­tles at age 35.

Rafael Nadal is also seen as a threat, al­though the Spa­niard opted to skip the Queens grass tune-up and rest be­fore hit­ting on grass in his na­tive Mal­lorca for a week prior to a Lon­don ar­rival.

The Scot ad­mit­ted that his hip nig­gle had been caus­ing con­cern last week as he strug­gled to pre­pare.

“Obviously this is an ex­tremely im­por­tant tour­na­ment, so you worry a lit­tle bit. It’s a lit­tle bit stress­ful if you can’t prac­tice for a few days,” he said.

“You re­ally want to be pre­par­ing, train­ing as much as you can to get ready and make you feel bet­ter, es­pe­cially when you hadn’t had any matches.

“I’ve had hip prob­lems since I was very young, it’s not some­thing new to me. It’s just been very sore the last few weeks. It was giv­ing me quite a lot of trou­ble mov­ing to cer­tain shots and get­ting into cer­tain po­si­tions.

“That was why I needed to take the break, to try and give it a chance to calm down a bit. I spent a lot of time with my physio and do­ing some ex­tra ex­er­cises in my warmup, strength­en­ing ex­er­cises, a lot of stuff to try to loosen off that area.

“I just tried to think pos­i­tively. I tried to make the best de­ci­sions along with my team to give my­self the best chance to feel good on Mon­day. I feel like I’ve done that.”

Mur­ray could find his rank­ing un­der threat in two weeks time, with Fed­erer, Nadal and No­vak Djokovic hav­ing chances to take the top spot based on their Wim­ble­don per­for­mances.

“I’m not think­ing about that right now, That’s not what my fo­cus is,” Mur­ray said.

“But maybe (I would) if there’s a match later in the tour­na­ment where if I win, I would stay at num­ber one or if I lose, maybe I would lose the rank­ing to one of the other guys – but not right now.”

On court to­day, in ad­di­tion to Mur­ray, two-time win­ner Pe­tra Kvi­tova faces Jo­hanna Lars­son, while Switzer­land’s Stan Wawrinka takes on Rus­sian Daniil Medvedev.

Amer­i­can Venus Wil­liams plays Bel­gium’s Elise Mertens, and Nadal makes his start against Aus­tralian John Mill­man. Bri­tish sixth seed Jo­hanna Konta will test her fit­ness af­ter a fall last week at East­bourne, tak­ing on Hsieh Su Wei.

Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga of France pays Bri­ton Cameron Nor­rie, sec­ond seed Si­mona Halep faces Ma­rina Erakovic and Ger­man Philipp Kohlschreiber clashes with sev­enth seed Marin Cilic.

PIC­TURE: EPA

EX­PEC­TANT: Great Bri­tain’s Andy Mur­ray isn’t let­ting the news of his wife’s preg­nancy dis­tract him from his Wim­ble­don ti­tle de­fence.

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