By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Once more the top seed at a slam but missing a bit of form, Andy Murray opens up his title defence on First Monday.
- Bidding to win a third Wimbledon title and to be the first British player (male or female) to defend a Grand Slam title since Fred Perry won Wimbledon from 1934-36.
LONDON, UK – Andy Murray returns as the defending champion, but with a few challenges to overcome in terms of form and injury over the European swing. We break down his draw.
Andy Murray Draw Predictions (on ranking/seeding)
For once the draw does not look too bad for Andy Murray, but having struggled to get match play and with a sore hip – how far will Murray go?
Round 1: Defeated Alexander Bublik 6-1 6-4 6-2
A highly entertaining encounter, but many were relieved to see Murray come through this with no obvious ill-effects after the injury troubles with his hip.
It’s not the easiest match to play because of the way he plays. There’s not loads of rhythm. He’s kind of doing different stuff on each point. I mean, he served some huge, huge serves on first and second serves. He was hitting some 130-mile-an-hour second serves, which you don’t really see much these days. Yeah, just kind of going for his shots. Wasn’t loads of rhythm.
But I hit the ball well. I don’t feel like I made too many unforced errors. I hit the ball pretty clean, got through a tough moment at the end of the second set, did pretty well.
Round 2: Defeated Dustin Brown 6-3 6-2 6-2
From one entertainer to another, Brown met his match with Murray as the Brit continued to play in solid form.
“It was a good match from my end. I mean, I served well until really the last few games. I returned well. I didn’t make many mistakes. I hit a lot of good passing shots. So, I mean, I was really happy with it.”
Round 3: Defeated Fabio Fognini 6-2 4-6 6-1 7-5
A test for Murray as Fognini went for languid to sharp as tacks, with Murray being the only one of the Big Four to drop a set on his way to the second week of Wimbledon.
“I didn’t feel like I moved as well as I did in the first two matches. It was also a completely different match for me. You know, I was playing against two guys that were hitting dropshots all the time, coming forward, serve-volleying quite a lot.
“You know, I had no real rhythm after the first couple of matches. Then today from Fabio there were a lot more rallies from the back of the court and stuff. It’s partly down to the way he plays as well. I felt a little bit off balance. I didn’t feel like I moved particularly well tonight.”
Round 4: Benoit Paire – Murray leads 1-0
With intended opponent Lucas Pouille (according to rankings) an early casualty, Paire emerges from that section of the draw. It could be a time for Murray to reset after the Fognini win, as Paire becomes frustrated if the ball keeps coming back to him.
Quarter-Final: Sam Querrey – Murray leads 7-1
Projected quarter-finalist Stan Wawrinka was a first round casualty, and with Querrey seeded above his fourth round opponent Kevin Anderson, he gets the nod. Querrey can be dangerous on grass, but Murray has taken him out at Wimbledon before.
Semi-Final: Rafael Nadal – Nadal leads 17-7
Perhaps wisely pulling out of Queen’s Club to led his body rest up after a busy clay court campaign that saw him win three ‘La Decimas’, Nadal put his practice in the warmer climes in Mallorca, and his draw pitches him up against a few challenges as well.
Perhaps forebodingly though, Murray has never beaten Nadal at Wimbledon.
Final – Novak Djokovic – Djokovic leads 25-11
Arguably out of all of the Big Four, Djokovic comes in the most prepared, as he picked up te Aegon International in the week before Wimbledon. Should he get past an inspired Federer in the semi-final, and while Djokovic leads their head to head quite emphatically, he has never beaten Murray on grass.
Wimbledon takes place between 3-16 July
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