Murray's Wimbledon bid is on

Roger Federer hugging his twin boys, Leo and Lenny, at the end of a training session in Wimbledon on Thursday. The defending champion opens his bid for a record ninth Wimbledon crown by facing Serbia's Dusan Lajovic on Monday.
Roger Federer hugging his twin boys, Leo and Lenny, at the end of a training session in Wimbledon on Thursday. The defending champion opens his bid for a record ninth Wimbledon crown by facing Serbia's Dusan Lajovic on Monday.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

But he may still pull out if he doesn't feel fit; Federer faces easy route in his title defence

LONDON • Andy Murray has kept alive his hopes of playing at Wimbledon next week after being included in yesterday's draw, even though he may still withdraw from the Grand Slam if he feels he is not fully fit.

The Scot, a two-time champion, was drawn to face France's Benoit Paire in the first round.

He had left his participation in the grass-court major to the last minute as he makes tentative progress in his return from hip surgery.

The 31-year-old has played just three matches since making his comeback last week after 11 months on the sidelines. He had conceded that his fitness was still an issue.

Despite his lack of match practice, Murray has apparently opted to give it a go at his home Grand Slam, where he will play in a best-of-five sets tournament for the first time since his Wimbledon quarter-final loss to Sam Querrey last year.

He could still pull out of the tournament any time right up until the scheduled start of his clash. Wimbledon starts on Monday and Murray is due to face the media today.

In a separate interview with The Times of London this week, he spoke of his desire to continue playing for years to come.

"I realise as I am coming towards the latter stage of my career that I want to carry on for as long as I can, and I'll really, really miss it," he said.

"I would want to let younger players know that they need to make the most of every opportunity.

"You should give everything because you don't know what is around the corner."

He added that he had focused too much on the physical aspect of his game that it eventually backfired.

"Sometimes I've pushed myself too hard and hurt myself," Murray said. "It is important to find a balance, but I enjoy the training. I enjoy the suffering. I enjoy the tough bits.

"At the end of the day, I feel satisfied and that is something that I'll miss when I stop playing."

If he does take part in Wimbledon, Murray is scheduled to face Juan Martin del Potro in the third round and may have to get past Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals, Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals and Roger Federer in the final.

Defending champion Federer opens his bid for a record-extending ninth Wimbledon crown by facing Serbia's Dusan Lajovic.

The 36-year-old Swiss has potential encounters with Lukas Lacko, Leonardo Mayer, Borna Coric, Kevin Anderson and Marin Cilic.

If Federer makes it through, he has a potential final date with his old rival and French Open champion Nadal. The Spaniard, whose last Wimbledon title win was in 2010, will take on Israel's Dudi Sela in the first round.

Djokovic, who plays American Tennys Sandgren, could face British No. 1 Kyle Edmund in the third round and French Open finalist Dominic Thiem in the last 16.

One of the most eagerly anticipated ties of the first round will see Stan Wawrinka, unseeded after his ranking fell following knee surgery, meet Grigor Dimitrov.

In the women's draw, seven-time champion Serena Williams was paired with 107th-ranked Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus.

The 36-year-old Williams, who has played only a handful of matches this year after giving birth last September, is seeded 25th after being bumped up from a current world ranking of 183.

Defending women's champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain will play Briton Naomi Broady, while top seed Simona Halep will take on Japan's Kurumi Nara.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2018, with the headline 'Murray's Wimbledon bid is on'. Print Edition | Subscribe