Andy Murray: Former Wimbledon champion ‘pain free’ after hip injury

Andy Murray says he is “pain free” after hip surgery but that his chances of playing singles at Wimbledon this year are “less than 50%”.

Murray had hip resurfacing surgery in January, which he said meant it was possible he would not be able to play professionally again.

But the three-time Grand Slam champion said it was the only option if he wanted to return to competitive action.

“The rehab is slow but going well,” the 31-year-old Briton said.

“I want to continue playing, I said that in Australia. The issue is I don’t know whether it’s possible.”

In an interview with BBC sports editor Dan Roan at Queen’s Club, the former world number one added: “The operation went well. I’m feeling good and walking around pain free – which hasn’t been the case for pretty much 18 months, two years.

“The reason for having the surgery was to improve all the day-to-day things and my quality of life.

“I wasn’t enjoying tennis, I wasn’t enjoying going out for walks and doing basic things – it was painful tying my laces. I wanted to get rid of that.”

Murray added he was under “no pressure” to resume a career which has also seen him win two Olympic gold medals among 45 singles titles.

“I have to wait and see. I’m not allowed to start doing any high-impact movement for the first four months after the surgery and it is only then when I can see if I can compete at any level,” he said.

“Whether that is competing in the top 10 in the world, that is probably unlikely, but could I get to top 50, top 100 level? That may be possible.

“I don’t feel any pressure to come back; I don’t feel pressure to play. If it allows me to play that’s brilliant.”

Murray broke down in tears at the Australian Open in January, saying in his pre-tournament news conference that he planned to retire after this year’s Wimbledon because of the pain in his hip.

However, he added that the first Grand Slam of 2019 could prove to be the last tournament of his career.

After a gutsy first-round five-set defeat by Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, Murray appeared to soften his stance by telling the Melbourne crowd he hoped to see them again next year.

I have no regrets about deciding to have the operation. Even if I was told I couldn’t hit a tennis ball again, I would have had the operation

In his post-match news conference he said he was considering the resurfacing operation primarily to improve his quality of life.

Murray had the operation – which keeps more of the damaged bone than a hip replacement, smoothing the ball down and covering it with a metal cap – in London on 28 January.

American doubles player Bob Bryan had the same surgery last year and was back playing again, alongside twin brother Mike, five months later.

No tennis player has competed in singles after having the operation.

“To play singles at Wimbledon I’d say it would be less than 50% chance, doubles maybe possibly,” Murray added.

“Bob Bryan had the same operation and was competing after five and a half months. But there is a vast difference between singles and doubles, in terms of the physicality and the loads you put through the body.

“I think it is possible to return to singles, but I don’t want to say it is highly likely because it hasn’t been done before. I can’t look at another tennis player and say that guy has done it.

“The surgeons said I can try but couldn’t give me any guarantees.

“The thing that gives me hope is that in Australia and in the past 18 months, my hip was in a really bad way and I was still able to compete and win matches against very good players.”

“If my hip is better now and with less pain there is a chance I could do it again.”


Wimbledon 2017: Ilie Nastase will not be invited to Royal Box this year

Ilie Nastase will not be invited to the Royal Box at Wimbledon this summer, tournament organisers have said.

Romania’s Fed Cup captain, a former world number one, is currently under investigation over comments he made about Serena Williams’ unborn child.

Williams accused Nastase of racism after he was overheard asking if the child would be “chocolate with milk”.

He also insulted British player Johanna Konta and captain Anne Keothavong, and called a journalist “stupid”.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Wimbledon also announced record prize money of £31.6m for this year’s event, an increase of 12.5% on 2016.

The men’s and women’s singles champions will earn £2.2m each, with an increase to benefit players at each round of the draw. First-round singles losers will earn £35,000.

Overall prize money for the last year’s edition was £28.1m, with the singles champions earning £2m.

This year’s event gets under way on 3 July, the latest start since the 1895 edition, when play began on 8 July.

All England Club chairman Philip Brook confirmed 70-year-old Nastase, who reached the Wimbledon final in 1972 and 1976, would not be present.

“His actions were not very good and we condemn them. In terms of an invitation to the Royal Box, he is not going to receive an invitation this year,” Brook said.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has launched an investigation into remarks Nastase made during April’s Fed Cup match, when he also directed an angry outburst towards Konta that left the British number one in tears.

In an interview with the BBC later in April, the Romanian defended his remarks about world number one Williams.

“English people considered it was racist and everybody picked it up like that,” he said.

“The only person who can get upset maybe is Serena, but not you people in England. Why does everybody else get upset? I don’t understand. Whatever.”


Davis Cup: Andy Murray wins to wrap up GB victory over USA

Andy Murray sealed a Davis Cup quarter-final place for Great Britain with a straight-sets win over American John Isner in Glasgow.

He saved three set points in the first set and won 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) to give Britain an unassailable 3-1 lead in the World Group first-round tie.

Britain will next play France at home in July, with the venue to be decided.

“It feels great. This is a team effort and I think everyone agrees the team played their part,” said the Scot.

Murray, 27, who returned to play in Scotland this week for the first time in four years, looked edgy in the early stages against Isner but was clinical when it counted.

“On behalf of all of the players I want to thank the crowd because it’s been one of the most special atmospheres I’ve ever played in,” he added.

Murray had been a heavy favourite to finish the job for Britain against a player who had suffered a “brutal” five-set defeat by James Ward on Friday.

It is the second year running that Britain have beaten the United States, and Isner said: “This one’s on me.

“My team-mates may say otherwise but when you look at this match-up on paper, my loss on Friday put us in a huge hole.

“It’s so, so disappointing for me. I feel like I let us down this week. It’s a terrible feeling.”

Isner began the better, however, earning seven break points – three of them set points – before Murray finally fashioned his first after 86 minutes.

A double fault from Isner at the start of the tie-break proved the decisive moment in the first set, but he had already wasted two inviting forehands on set points.

Murray’s previously shaky serve found its range as he closed out the set efficiently, much to the relief of most of the 7,700 spectators.

It seemed inevitable that Isner’s challenge would fade after his exertions of 48 hours earlier but it took a moment of brilliance from Murray to get the better of his huge serve.

After some loose Isner forehands offered the Briton his first break point of the day, Murray sent up a brilliant lob that had the 6ft 10in American scrambling in vain.

While Isner was predictably leading the ace count, it was the steadily rising number of unforced errors that was now more significant as Murray saw out the set and pushed hard early in the third.

Isner served his way out of a seemingly desperate situation at 0-40 and got within two points of the set at 5-4, 0-30, but Murray snuffed out the danger.

Another early break in the tie-break helped the Scot to a 6-2 lead and he converted his third match point with an ace, drawing a deafening roar from the home crowd.

Asked about the prospect of facing France at home the week after Wimbledon, Murray said: “I would imagine we’d try to play that on a grass court possibly.

“I don’t know how many grass courts they have here in Glasgow but if they can lay one, I’d really love to play here again.”

Ward played the final dead rubber against Donald Young but retired after winning the first set to protect a sore knee, as he will fly to Indian Wells with Murray on Monday, so the tie ended in a 3-2 win for Britain.


Victoria Azarenka is one of five players to pull out of Wimbledon

World number two Victoria Azarenka is one of five players to pull out of Wimbledon on Wednesday after failing to overcome a knee injury.
The two-time semi-finalist fell heavily during Monday’s 6-1 6-2 first-round win over Maria Joao Koehler of Portugal.
Earlier, Steve Darcis, who beat Rafael Nadal in the first round, pulled out with a shoulder problem.

Number 10 seed Marin Cilic is also out with a knee injury while John Isner and Radek Stepanek were forced to retire. Azarenka, 23, had continued her first-round match after lengthy treatment and heavy strapping but failed to recover in time to face Italian Flavia Pennetta on centre court. Darcis, who was scheduled to play Lukasz Kubot of Poland. announced his withdrawal on Twitter: "Having to throw in the towel after beating Rafa!? THE hardest decision of my career!!! #triedmybestanyway!!!"

Neither Darcis or Azarenka took to the court for their second round matches."It happened against Rafa in the middle of the first set when I fell down," added Darcis."After the (Nadal) match, a few hours after, I start to feel so much pain, I couldn’t sleep that night. I saw the physio and the doctor yesterday. hey did a good job. It’s a little bit better today. But no chance I can play. I mean, I cannot serve. Even on the forehand side, I cannot hit a ball. It makes no sense to go on the court to withdraw after two games."

Both Isner and Stepanek required treatment during their second round matches but failed to recover enough to continue. American Isner had played just two games of his match against Adrian Mannarino of France when he was forced out with an injury to his left knee."Always serve and land on my left leg, like I have done 20 million times playing this game, and this is the first time I just felt this, like, sharp pain," he said."It wasn’t like a pop… it just grabbed really badly, and I knew I was in serious trouble then. I knew at that point it was not likely I was going to be able to play."

Stepanek soon followed, trailing one set to love and 5-3 to 24th seed Jerzy Janowicz, when he retired with a hamstring problem. Cilic made it five withdrawals when he pulled out ahead of his second-round match with Frenchman Kenny De Schepper. The world number 12 could have met Andy Murray at the quarter-final stage.


Andy Murray plays Yen-Hsun Lu at Wimbledon 2013

Andy Murray will take the lessons from one of the hardest defeats of his career into Wednesday’s second-round match against Yen-Hsun Lu at Wimbledon.
The British number one plays Taiwan’s world number 75 in the second match on Court One at approximately 15:00 BST.
They follow the match between French 31st seed Julien Benneteau and Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.
Murray has played Lu twice before, beating him in Indian Wells in March, five years after a shock defeat in the first round of the Beijing Olympics.

"I was so excited to play in the Olympics and be part of it that I was doing a lot of media," Murray said in his BBC Sport column."I was going to the opening ceremony, I was trying to speak to all of the athletes and take pictures with them, I was collecting the pins from each team – I was loving being part of it."But when I lost, I thought, ‘Why was I doing all that stuff? I’m here to win matches, I’m not here to collect pins.’ I loved going to the opening ceremony but had to think, ‘Is that the best thing for my preparation?’ "I learnt a lot from that match. It was one of the toughest losses of my career, and I don’t plan to repeat the experience on Wednesday." Lu beat British number two James Ward over four sets in the opening round, and the 29-year-old is a former world number 33 and Wimbledon quarter-finalist.
With that in mind, Murray refused to look too far ahead despite the absence of Rafael Nadal in his half of the draw after the Spaniard’s surprise loss to Steve Darcis on Monday."It’s pretty irrelevant right now," said Murray. "I would have to win at least four more matches before that would even become something I would think about."

Second seed Victoria Azarenka will open play on Centre Court against Italy’s Flavia Pennetta at 13:00, and the Belarusian will hope that her knee holds up after falling and twisting it during her first-round match."For two minutes I had such a consistent pain that it just completely freaked me out what happened," said the Belarusian. Azarenka and Pennetta will be followed on the main show court by sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga against Latvian Ernests Gulbis, and seven-time champion Roger Federer against Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsy. Third seed Maria Sharapova faces Portugal’s Michelle Larcher de Briton in the third match on Court Two. Laura Robson, the British women’s number one, will be in action on Thursday.


Roger Federer beats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Tour Finals opener

Roger Federer opened the ATP World Tour Finals with a hard-earned victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at London’s O2 Arena.

Bidding to defend the title he won 12 months ago and secure a record sixth season-ending crown, Federer came through 6-2 2-6 6-4 in one hour and 28 minutes.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion looked on course for a routine triumph when he dominated the first set, breaking twice and dropping only three points on serve.

Tsonga responded brilliantly in the second set with two breaks of his own to level, and he continued to take the fight to Federer in the decider.

But the Swiss legend showed all his class and experience to strike late on and make an early move to the top of round-robin Group B.

A rather odd match which absolutely flew by with rallies at a premium. Federer recovered from losing his forehand in the second set and errors from Tsonga in the final game cost him heavily. The capacity crowd loved it, creating a great atmosphere. The court looked pretty slow and some bounces around the service line were particularly low. This will play into Federer’s hands as the week progresses.

After the match Federer said: “Jo-Wilfried served well in the second set and it was hard to control the rallies at the baseline. But I think this is the best I’ve played all year. It helped that I had some good time off before playing great at Basel and Paris.”

Tsonga added: “I think he was a bit surprised because I played so bad in the first set, then I played correctly in the second, but it’s always difficult because he’s really quick.

“Sometimes you think you will get the point but Roger is still there. That’s why it’s tough to play against him.”

The evening match sees world number two Rafael Nadal face Mardy Fish at 2000 GMT, with Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic both in Group A action on Monday.

Federer arrived in London as the man to beat, with 17 wins from his past 18 matches and victory – over Tsonga – at the last Masters 1000 event of the year in Paris.

He had won six of his nine previous encounters with the Frenchman, although they had never met indoors before and Tsonga stunned Federer in this year’s Wimbledon quarter-finals.

With two of the sport’s most eye-catching players first up and music, bright lights and dry ice used to build the atmosphere, there was a palpable sense of excitement around the 17,500-capacity venue.

The noise was deafening when they emerged on court with both men backed by large sections of the crowd but Federer certainly the favourite.

His mother Lynette, wife Mirka and French footballer Thierry Henry – not supporting compatriot Tsonga – looked on in awe as the world number four put on a first-set masterclass.

Federer’s serve looked smooth from the outset as he held to love in his opening service game and, with his opponent struggling for rhythm, he went all out attack in game three.

Two forehands were flicked wide by Tsonga to hand over an easy break, and Federer struck again in the eighth game when the world number six produced three more errors and a double-fault.

At this stage, Tsonga had only managed to win three points on the Federer serve.

But the second set was a different story as the 6ft 2in right-hander began hitting with much greater accuracy, depth and consistency.

Federer failed to control a forehand to go down a break after three games, and it was the same shot that uncharacteristically let him down to fall 5-2 behind.

Tsonga served out confidently and bounced back to his chair with a spring in his step as his support team in the stands rose to their feet.

His service statistics improved dramatically in a disciplined third set, yet Federer stayed calm and the worst position he faced on his own delivery was deuce at 1-1.

There was a feeling around the arena that Federer was saving himself for one final push – and so it proved when he broke to 15 in the 10th game to seal the win.

In the opening doubles match of the Finals third seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor beat fifth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 11-9.


Rafael Nadal hits out at ‘stupid’ Noah accusations

Nadal faces Roger Federer at the ATP World Tour Finals on Tuesday

Rafael Nadal has hit back at Yannick Noah’s claims that Spanish sporting success is due to doping.

French tennis legend Noah, winner of the 1983 French Open, told French newspaper Le Monde: “Today if you don’t have the magic potion, it’s hard to win. How can a nation dominate sport virtually overnight like this?”

Nadal was angered by the allegations.

He said: “What he said is completely stupid. This guy does not deserve to write in newspapers anymore.”

Noah’s article also claimed that drug laws should be relaxed across the board to level the playing field.

Nadal, 25, is currently second in the ATP world rankings and has won 10 Grand Slam titles in his career.

Spain’s football team are World Cup and European Championship holders, while cyclist Alberto Contador has won the Tour de France in three of the last five years.

Spain’s basketball team has won a World Championship, two European titles and an Olympic silver medal in the past six years.

Noah, 51, who retired from tennis in 1996, said: “When I still milled around on the courts with my racket, we weren’t ridiculous, far from it, against our Spanish friends.

“It was the same on the soccer fields, the basketball halls or on the roads of the Tour de France. Today they are running faster than us, are much more stronger and only leave us the bread crumbs.

“We look like dwarves. Did we miss something? Did they discover some avant-garde techniques or training facilities that nobody before them had imagined?”

Nadal responded to Noah’s comments by insisting that drug testing procedures show the claims have no foundation.

The Spaniard said: “He knows better than anybody that to say that today is a totally stupid thing because you know how many anti-doping controls we have during the season, year by year.

Yannick Noah’s son, Joakim, plays basketball for the Chicago Bulls and was on the French national team that qualified for the London Olympics

“So in my opinion, the article that he wrote was from a kid and when one kid says something it’s not painful for us.”

Nadal is confident he will recover from a stomach problem in time for his eagerly-anticipated meeting with Roger Federer at the ATP World Tour Finals on Tuesday.

He rushed to the toilet two games into the third set of his late-night 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7-3) victory over Mardy Fish on Sunday.

Nadal added: “The feeling of my body is not the best right now. I really need to go back to the hotel and rest.

“I am worried about getting better for practice [on Monday] but two days are enough.”


Roger Federer is a general 2/1 favourite for the ATP World Tour Finals after the draw was made on Tuesday.

The five-time champion has been drawn with Rafael Nadal in the group stages, having beaten the Spaniard in last year’s final.

Nadal can be backed at 11/2, which makes him the fourth-favourite with the layers.

Andy Murray is an 11/4 chance to end the season on a high after he was drawn with injury-troubled world number one Novak Djokovic, who is as big as 5/1 with Bodog.

Sky Bet are one of several firms who rate Federer the most likely winner, and their Chris Kennedy said: “The draw looks fairly equal with both groups looking similar in strength.

“There are some interesting re-matches from last week with Murray keen to get a swift revenge on Paris conqueror Tomas Berdych and Tsonga looking to avenge his final defeat to Federer.

“The fans will also be treated to a tasty Federer v Nadal group encounter.”

Coral are one of those offering the best price about Murray at 11/4, with the Scot as short as 9/4 in places following what many see as a good draw.

Their David Stevens said: “2012 has undoubtedly been Novak Djokovic’s year, but the world number one has been struggling with his fitness since the US Open.

“By contrast, Roger Federer heads to the O2 in great form, having won back-to-back events in Basel and Paris, and is a worthy favourite in our book.”

William Hill also go 11/4 about the British number one and Rupert Adams commented: “On current form it is difficult to choose between Federer and Murray but Roger was sublime last week and he is the favourite.”

If there is to be an upset the market suggests that last week’s beaten finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga might be the one to provide it. The Frenchman ranges from as short as 8/1 with Betfred to Sky Bet’s standout 14s.

Tomas Berdych, who knocked Murray out of the Paris Masters, is a 22/1 chance with bet365 while David Ferrer is out to 45/1 with Paddy Power.

The same firm offer a standout 90/1 about Mardy Fish, who completes the eight-strong line-up.


Andy Murray to face Novak Djokovic at ATP World Tour Finals

British number one Andy Murray will play world number one Novak Djokovic in the group stages of the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London.

Murray will also play David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych in the round-robin group, which starts on Sunday.

World number two Rafael Nadal will take on Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Mardy Fish in group B.

The top two from each group will qualify for the semi-finals at the season-ending tournament.

World number three Murray was beaten by Djokovic, who is chasing an 11th title in 2011, in the final of the Australian Open in January but won their last meeting in the final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati in August.

The 24-year-old Scot, who was beaten in last year’s semi-final by Nadal, also faces Berdych, the man who ended his 17-match winning streak at the Paris Masters.

Czech player Berdych qualified for the tournament by reaching the quarter-finals in Paris.

Reigning champion Federer, who beat Nadal in last year’s final, is in good form, having won last week’s event in the French capital with a victory over Tsonga.

Before the draw, former world number one Federer said: “If Djokovic is fit and Murray is fit – which it seems like he is – they will be difficult to beat, and Rafa [Nadal], regardless of how he’s going to be, is always a tough customer.

“Everybody can beat everybody – I don’t feel like [the players ranked] five, six, seven and eight have no chance – I definitely feel like they have a chance to go deep [into the competition].”

Djokovic and Nadal, as the top two seeds, were kept apart in the draw, as were third-ranked Murray and fourth seed Federer.

Ferrer and Tsonga, as the fifth and sixth best players in the word were also separated, as were seventh and eighth-ranked Berdych and Fish.


Murray and Maclagan sever ties

World number four Andy Murray has parted company with his coach Miles Maclagan to end their working partnership after almost three years.
Maclagan, 35, began working with the Scot at the end of 2007 to replace Brad Gilbert.

Alex Corretja later came on board and he will continue to work with the 23-year-old, who is in Los Angeles where he is competing in the Farmers Classic, his first tournament since losing in the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

Murray will review the situation after the US Open which is now a little over a month away.
In a statement issued by Murray’s management company, 19 Entertainment, the player said: “I’ve had a great relationship with Miles over the past two-and-a-half years and I want to thank him for his positive contribution to my career.

“We have had a lot of success and fun working together.”

Maclagan, a former British Davis Cup player, added: “It’s been a privilege to work with Andy as his coach and I’m happy to have played my part in his career.
“I also want to thank the team for all their hard work over the years and I will miss working with them and Andy on a day-to-day basis.
“Andy is a great player and I know he will continue to have the success his talent and hard work deserves.”

Under Maclagan, Murray reached the finals of the US Open in 2008 and the 2010 Australian Open, losing to Roger Federer on both occasions.
The Dunblane-born player also made two Wimbledon semi-finals as well as the last eight in 2008.

In September 2009, Murray reached a career-high ranking of world number two.