Wimbledon 'extremely important' for Andy Murray as Brit admits 2021 could be his last one

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    Andy Murray has insisted he is not coming back to Wimbledon this year to say goodbye – but the 34-year-old admits he cannot be certain this won’t be his final appearance at his home Grand Slam.

    The Scot will play singles at The Championships for the first time since 2017 – and the first time with a metal hip.

    In the last four years, the Olympic champion has had two hip surgeries, a nagging groin problem and Covid-19 which forced him out of the Australian Open.

    The world No 119, who now confesses he should have gone under the knife sooner, has only won two matches on grass in that time.

    But on Monday the wildcard will likely return to Centre Court, the scene of his greatest triumphs, to face No 24 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.

    “I think I’ll be excited,” said the Scot. “I’m sure I’ll be nervous as well. It’ll be great. I’ve also just missed playing at Wimbledon, playing at the majors.

    “I feel lucky that I’m getting another chance to do it and hopefully I can put in a solid performance.”

    Murray has been included in the Olympic team but he admitted at Queen’s Club last week that he approaches every match like it could be his last. So is this his SW19 swansong?

    “I don’t want it to be my last Wimbledon,” he said. “That’s not my plan. Like I’m not going into Wimbledon thinking I’m saying goodbye. I want to keep going and I want to keep playing. But obviously I don’t know.

    “If I got a significant injury or whatever, then yeah that would obviously change things. But I guess that’s the case with most players when they get into their sort of mid-30s.

    “I’m still planning on playing for as long as I can so I hope that’s not the case. When you’ve had multiple setbacks and they keep happening, it’s difficult to not view like each tournament as being extremely important – because you don’t know what is going to happen.”

    After losing to John Isner in the 2017 quarter-finals, Murray was out for a year.

    “I was feeling horrendous during that tournament – I was in so much pain playing there,” he recalled. “Every minute that passed, I was feeling worse.

    “Usually I’m devastated after losing at Wimbledon. I was just so happy that’s over. That was one of my better achievements – to make the quarters that year and get close to the semis.

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    “We laugh about it today because I don’t know how it did it. Probably one of the reasons why I still feel like I can do well.”

    Murray said his hip resurfacing was a “last resort” but added: “The only decision that I would have changed would have been to have had the operation sooner”.

    Now he wants to “enjoy” Wimbledon more. “But I’m sure the closer the tournament gets, my competitive instincts will kick in,” he warned. “Once I get on the court, my expectations are high still.”

    Andy Murray is an ambassador and investor in HALO Hydration which is now available in the UK at HALOHydration.com

    Who the Brits face at Wimbledon

    THE MEN

    Monday

    Jack Draper (ranked 250) v Novak Djokovic (Serbia) (1)

    Liam Broady (WC) (137) v Marco Cecchinato (Italy) (84)

    Jay Clarke (WC) (166) v Egor Gerasimov (Belarus) (77)

    Dan Evans (26) v Feliciano Lopez (Spain) (64)

    Andy Murray (WC) (119 ) v Nikoloz Basilashvili (Georgia) (30)

    Tuesday

    Cameron Norrie (34) v Lucas Pouille (France) (84)

    THE WOMEN

    Johanna Konta (30) v Katerina Siniakova (Czech) (75)

    Samantha Murray Sharan (WC) (180) v Sorana Cirstea (Romania) (54)

    Emma Raducanu (WC) (366) v Qualifier

    Fran Jones (WC) (190) v Coco Gauff (USA) (23)

    Heather Watson (65) v Qualifier

    Harriet Dart (WC) (146) v Elise Mertens (Belgium) (15)

    Jodie Burrage (WC) (240) v Lauren Davis (USA) (87)

    Katie Swan (290) v Madison Keys (USA) (24)



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