Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Andy Murray aims to be fighting fit for Wimbledon defence

Jan Ortega | 02 July, 2017, 01:09

The 35-year-old won the most extraordinary of his 18 grand slam titles at the Australian Open in January and skipped the clay season entirely in order to give himself the best shot at claiming an eighth Wimbledon title. Murray's harboured hip trouble after an early exit at Queen's, Nadal made a decision to skip grasscourt warm-ups to rest his body after winning the French Open while Djokovic burst into life earlier on Saturday by winning the Eastbourne title.

His caution over joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi and Rod Laver as the only men to have won all four majors in the Open era is well-founded.

Andy Murray (+350) and Novak Djokovic (+600) have combined to win each of the last four titles at Wimbledon, with Murray winning previous year and in 2013 and Djokovic winning in 2014 and 2015.

"If he's anything close to 100% physically, I consider him one of the big favourites", said Federer. "It's that simple. It's the same for Novak and the same for Rafa", reckoned Federer.

"I think it's very even when we put it all out on the line", said seven-time champion Federer. Everybody has their own little story right now. "I think he's beaten everybody as well except Murray", Thiem said. "But it gave me the best chance for the grass, so I would never look back and have regrets once I came here".

LAST YEAR: Murray beat Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2) for his second Wimbledon trophy and third Grand Slam title overall. This is clearly not an ideal preparation.

"Queen's for Andy (where he was knocked out early) doesn't matter so much because I feel like he's one of the best players in the first week at Wimbledon, so I don't worry too much for him there".

"I kind of never regretted it, even though it hurt, because it was the first time I pulled out of a slam actually feeling 100 per cent ready to go".

After finishing runner-up to Nadal at the French Open last month, Wawrinka's grass court season got off to a poor start with a first-round exit at Queen's to eventual champion Feliciano Lopez.

The Spanish great is cautiously optimistic about his prospects, as long as he can survive the early rounds. "I see that they are going to be tough to beat here".

"I am excited to be playing again here, in a tournament that I really love and really enjoy playing".

"At the same time, I tell you, it's a tournament that you can go out of very early". I mean, I guess I exceeded my expectations that I was able to be this successful so late in my career.

"Away from those five players, I'm not sure how deep we're talking about".

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