Fit again Andy Murray warns he’s still a force to be reckoned with at Wimbledon

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
Fit again Andy Murray warns he’s still a force to be reckoned with at Wimbledon
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Asked to assess Andy Murray’s form going into Wimbledon, Nick Kyrgios, the penultimate player to face him on tour, could not have been more glowing.

Kyrgios, in his own rich vein of form on grass, lost 7-6, 6-2 to Murray at the Stuttgart Open before the Briton’s body crumbled in his subsequent match against Matteo Berrettini.

And Murray is the only player outside the top 20 to have defeated the Australian this year.

Speaking on the eve of Wimbledon, Kyrgios said: “I think he’s one of the most dangerous players on grass still. I definitely think the way he can handle speed, return, compete, slice, volley, as long as his body is feeling well, I don’t want to see him on the grass at all.

“I’m playing unbelievable tennis at the moment. That first set [in Stuttgart] was as good a level as anyone can produce on grass.”

Murray has had too many false dawns to get carried away with any pre-Wimbledon hype. His run in Germany was the best tennis he has played in the three-and-a-half years since hip surgery and yet it was still marred by another injury – an abdominal strain.

All the indications are that he takes to Centre Court against James Duckworth now repaired and having put himself through some tough practice sessions at Aorangi Park with Dan Evans among others to test the body without too much issue.

And if the body holds up, he believes he has the tennis to put him on course for a long run at an event where he is a two-time champion.

“I think I showed a couple of weeks ago that there was still some good tennis left in me,” he said. “I mean I beat a guy in the top five in the world, was neck and neck with Berrettini, who is one of the best grasscourt players in the world before the injury.

 (PA)
(PA)

“I’ve been doing pretty well in practice. I know the tennis is there, I just need to bring it out during the event now. Obviously having Ivan on my team helps. We’ve had a lot of success in the past, we know each other well. He still believes in me. There’s not loads of coaches, people out there that have done over this last period.”

Ivan Lendl has been over in London since Stuttgart to reunite with Murray. Together in the past, the partnership has been responsible for the best form of Murray’s career, and the hope is the Lendl effect can inject a late-career renaissance for the 35-year-old.

Murray’s current form and, for the most part, fitness he credits to a month-long training block in the wake of the Miami Open at the end of May with Lendl in Orlando.

Much has been about managing the load on his body, much as Lendl did when his own playing career went well into his 30s.

“As he got older, he reduced the amount of training and stuff he was doing himself,” said Murray. “So, we’ve spoken about that a little bit, the amount I would be doing moving forwards. I’m grateful that Ivan has come back to work with me and help me try and achieve what it is I want to achieve.”

On the other side of the net to him on Centre Court today is a player who has not been without his own injury setbacks. After the Australian Open, Duckworth underwent the ninth surgery of his professional career, on his hip this time.

He returned to action in May but has not won a main draw match since, and the inference is it is a far easier draw than the former British No1 might have had.

“He’s a guy that’s had quite a few operations,” said an empathetic Murray. “He’s had quite a few injury issues over the years. He’s a proper hard worker. He got up to I think his career-high ranking last year, he finished last year extremely well, the second half of the year, then obviously had the surgery. Obviously wish him well coming back from surgery. I’m sure we’ll have a good match on Monday.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting