World No 1 faces a fitness race for Wimbledon
Murray has Wimbledon injury scare, Thiem crashes out in Antalya and Djokovic hits a weather front in Eastbourne
Murray pulls out of an exhibition match at the Hurlingham Club due to a sore hip.
Andy Murray suffered an injury scare ahead of Wimbledon as the world No 1 pulled out of an exhibition match at the Hurlingham Club due to a sore hip yesterday. Murray had scheduled two matches at the Aspall Tennis Classic event following his shock first-round exit against Australian world No 90 Jordan Thompson at Queen’s Club last week.
The Scot, 30, had been due to face Lucas Pouille, but his management announced that he would not take to the court because his hip was “a bit sore”.
The decision was described as a precaution, with Murray still planning to play the second match against an as-yet-unnamed opponent in west London on Friday.
But it is not the preparation Murray would have wanted as the three-time grand slam champion prepares to defend his title at Wimbledon, which gets under way on Monday. Murray’s difficult season has included a host of fitness problems, including shingles, an elbow injury and two bouts of flu.
Elsewhere, Dominic Thiem crashed out of the Antalya grass court tournament yesterday, the French Open semi-finalist stunned by India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan, ranked 214 places below the world No 8.
The 22-year-old Ramanathan upset Thiem 6-3, 6-2 to claim the biggest win of his career.
Thiem made it into the French Open last four, beating Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the quarter-finals before losing to eventual winner Rafael Nadal.
However, he arrived in Turkey after a second-round loss to Robin Haase last week on grass in Halle.
The Austrian was appearing in Turkey to help prepare for the third grand slam of the year at Wimbledon. Ramanathan had only played in one ATP tour event this year before heading to Turkey, and that was at home in Chennai in January.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic’s preparations for Wimbledon were undermined when heavy rain caused play at Eastbourne to be cancelled.
The Serb, 30, had chosen to compete there for the first time in his pursuit of some momentum and confidence ahead of the coming Grand Slam, but was left frustrated almost as soon as his first-round match began. He took the opening game against Canada’s Vasek Pospisil and was leading 30-15 in the second when the rain started.
Play was then repeatedly postponed until, finally at 5pm, attempts to resume were abandoned until 10.30am tomorrow.
Briton Jamie Murray believes his doubles victory at Queen’s with Brazilian Bruno Soares has given the pair a much-needed boost ahead of next week’s Wimbledon as the duo target their third grand-slam title. Murray and Soares, who also won in Stuttgart earlier this month, beat France’s Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 6-3 to claim their sixth tour title together on Sunday.
The pair, who won the Australian Open and the US Open last year, are now looking ahead to Wimbledon, where they reached the quarter-finals in 2016.
“It’s big for us to win at Queen’s, one of the strongest fields in the year ... and it gives us great confidence ahead of Wimbledon,” Jamie, the elder brother of world No 1 singles player Andy, said. “But on Monday [at Wimbledon] everyone starts from the same position ... but we are one of the favourites for the tournament and we will do as well as we can.”
The 31-year-old Murray said his relationship with Soares has grown over the past 18 months and the duo are looking to finish the season strongly.
“We practice together, play our matches and even recovery together – it’s a 24-hour partnership,” Murray said. “Of course it helps that we have a good relationship as we spend all our days together.
“We have been playing together for 18 months now and hope we keep playing together and finish the year as strong as we can.”
Last year, Andy and Jamie became the first brothers to top the world rankings in singles and doubles at the same time.
The pair have played together on tour and represented Britain at the Davis Cup but have never appeared together at a grand slam.
With Judy Murray recently tipping her sons to “have a crack at Wimbledon” before the end of their careers, Jamie also refused to rule out the possibility of teaming up with his younger brother.
“One day we might play together at Wimbledon but that depends on Andy’s singles career,” Murray said. “I don’t know when that might happen but at the moment I’m happy playing with Bruno.”
A sore hip has added to Andy Murray’s problems this year related to fitness, including shingles, an elbow injury and two bouts of flu.