By Niall Clarke
- Andy Murray will play Mikhail Kukushkin on centre court on Tuesday.
- Murray has never lost to Kukushkin in two meetings
- Winner will play Alejandro Falla or Robin Haase in the second round.
Five British players, including Andy Murray, will kick off their Wimbledon campaigns as we reach day two at the All England Club.
Murray, 28, will face Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin on centre court as he begins his bid for a second Wimbledon title. The British number one is coming in to The Championships after a fantastic clay court season the culminated with a semi-final run at the French Open.
When Murray hit the grass of Queens two weeks ago, it did not take him long to adjust to the surface. The Scot went all the way, defeating Kevin Anderson in straight sets to claim his fourth Queens Club title.
“I think in any sport, winning gives you confidence,” said the third seed (Source: BBC SPORT).
“This year I’ve won a lot of matches, more than I ever have in my career to this point in a season.”
With his recent form and known grass court expertise, Murray is one of the favourites to win the title. Last year his title defence was ended by Grigor Dimitrov, who routinely beat the Brit in straight sets. Now Murray is back, ready to challenge again.
“I’m certainly not getting carried away,” he added. “I know how difficult these events are to win.
“I just concentrate on the first match and try my best to get through that one.
“I enjoy playing in the high pressure situations. You know, that’s really what I play for now. I enjoy these events. I prepare extremely hard for them.
“I feel like I’m coming into the event as best prepared as I can be.”
His opponent, Kukushkin is ranked number 58 in the world, and made the third round last year losing to Novak Djokovic.
The Kazakh is an aggressive player who goes for his shots at every opportunity. He can be dangerous if he catches fire, but the 27 year old is also very inconsistent. Kukushkin’s form is nothing to write home about, winning only one of his last six matches. In his last outing he lost to Alex Zverev in Nottingham, winning only two games.
Murray has never lost to his first round opponent, but they have not met since the 2012 Australian Open, where Kukushkin retired after losing the first two sets. The Kazakh has improved since then, rising up the rankings towards the top 50.
The Brit will be hoping to keep that 100 percent record when he steps on to centre court on Tuesday. The winner will face either Alejandro Falla or Robin Haase in round two.
Murray will play Kukushkin tomorrow. You can follow his progress on Britwatchsports live scoring system: Live Scores