Andy Murray takes a break during practice at Wimbledon on Sunday. Photo: Alastair Grant, AP

LONDON – Andy Murray will begin his Wimbledon title defence on Monday after confirming his recovery from a hip injury that has disrupted his preparation for this year’s tournament.

“It’s felt much better the last few days,” the world number one told a media conference on Sunday.

“If I feel like I do today, I’ll be fine to play the tournament. I’ll be fine to play seven matches.”

Murray – who will play Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik, a lucky loser ranked 134, in the Centre Court opener on Monday – said he felt no lasting effects from the injury which caused him to pull out of two exhibition matches at London’s Hurlingham Club last week.

“I’ve had hip problems since I was very young,” said the Scot, who added that he had benefited from several days’ rest. “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.

“This is an extremely important tournament, so you worry a little bit. It’s a little bit stressful if you can’t practise for a few days.

“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.”

Murray confirmed British media reports that he and his wife Kim are expecting their second child, but said it would not distract him in his title defence. “We’re both obviously very happy and looking forward to it,” he said.

“I’ve had family the whole time I’ve been playing tennis, so yeah, I’ll be fine dealing with that. It’s certainly not a distraction in the slightest.”

Murray, who has won Wimbledon twice in the past four years and reached at least the quarter-finals every year since 2008, is attempting to successfully defend a Grand Slam title for the first time.

Andy Murray is the defending champion at Wimbledon. Photo: Adam Davy, PA via AP


“Hopefully I’m able to deal with things better this time round,” said Murray, who won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2012.

“Once you get out there, I don’t feel like I’m coming in trying to defend something. I’m going out there trying to win Wimbledon again. I want to try to win the competition.”

World No 1 Andy Murray says he has had difficulty moving around the court. Photo: Jed Leicester, Pool Photo via AP


This year the odds appear more stacked against him after a year disrupted by a series of minor problems, including chest infections, elbow problems, flu and shingles.

However, the 30-year-old Briton said he was hopeful of being a force to be reckoned with at his home Grand Slam for years to come.

“You want to make the most of every tournament you play. I think you realise that a little bit more as you start to get older. I hope I’m still playing here for five, six, seven more years, if possible.”

Reuters 

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