Fed­erer: In­jury may end Mur­ray bid

Swiss says Scot may not de­fend ti­tle at Wimbledon if is­sue per­sists

The National - News - Sport - - TENNIS -

Roger Fed­erer said Andy Mur­ray will not want to de­fend his Wimbledon ti­tle if he is not fit enough to re­tain it.

World No 1 Mur­ray has pulled out of an ex­hi­bi­tion match due to a hip in­jury, hav­ing al­ready with­drawn from a meet­ing with French­man Lucas Pouille on Tues­day be­cause of the same prob­lem. As reigning cham­pion at SW19, Mur­ray is due to have the tra­di­tional hon­our of open­ing the championships on Cen­tre Court on Mon­day af­ter­noon. But seven-time Wimbledon winner Fed­erer said: “I think he would need to feel like he could play for 14 days – or seven matches.

“If you feel you can only play one match, I don’t think it’s good enough to play the tour­na­ment, be­cause go­ing over the best of five sets, over two weeks, only the tough ones will sur­vive.

“You need to feel con­fi­dent in your body at some stage, oth­er­wise what’s the point? To put your­self out there just to be out there? Andy’s had too much suc­cess to do that. “The world’s watch­ing be­cause he’s the de­fend­ing cham­pion open­ing the court. It’s a big deal.

“Be­cause it’s a big deal you feel like you want to be at 100 per cent, or at least as close to 100 per cent as you can be.”

As well as his fit­ness wor­ries, Mur­ray, 30, is des­per­ately short of game time on grass hav­ing lost in the first round to Jordan Thomp­son at Queen’s Club last Tues­day.

It means the top seed will start the tour­na­ment with­out win­ning a match on the sur­face since beat­ing Mi­los Raonic in last year’s fi­nal.

Fed­erer, the favourite to land a record eighth Wimbledon ti­tle, still said that Mur­ray – if fit – will be a ma­jor player at this year’s championships.

“He’s the reigning champ, so I feel for him the most im­por­tant thing is to get through the first week,” the Swiss said.

“And the good thing for him is he’s a great first-week player.

“He doesn’t mind the slippy grass, he doesn’t mind the bounce of the ball.

“He might even thrive in those con­di­tions.

“So we will speak dif­fer­ently if he wins the first three matches. “Re­gard­less of how he played at Queen’s and how he is feel­ing now, if he is 100 per cent phys­i­cally on Mon­day, I think we will see a very strong Andy Mur­ray at these championships.”

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Roger Fed­erer says that world No 1 Andy Mur­ray may de­cide not to de­fend his Wimbledon ti­tle if in­jury woes per­sist.

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