The 2013 Wimbledon champion Andy Murray believes he is back in form this year following an extended period on the sidelines and a long road back to full health, and he will have the opportunity to prove just that when he begins his campaign at The All England Club. Murray will commence his campaign against Mikhail Kukushkin, whom he has faced twice previously on the professional tour, yet never on grass. Murray leads the head-to-head series 2-0.
The world No. 3 continued his remarkable return to form on last week at the Aegon Championships when he won back-to-back matches on the same day to claim his fourth title at Queen’s Club. Murray managed a 6-3, 7-6(4) win over Troicki in the semi-final before he stepped back on court a few hours later to defeat Anderson 6-3, 6-4. The last time Murray won that tournament, he followed up with a jackpot win at Wimbledon. Not only does it appear as though history is on course to repeat itself, but Murray himself has added fuel to the fire by stating that he feels he is better prepared this season than back in 2013.
“I feel I have improved. Physically I’m definitely in a better place than I was then, when I was having problems with my back – not so much on the grass but on the other surfaces. I feel I’m using my variety very well now, something that maybe I wasn’t the past couple of years. [I have] more experience, more matches. There are a few things I’m doing a little bit better.”
Murray will come up against Kukushkin, who lost his opening match in Stuttgart, won a single match in Halle and then followed up with another loss in Nottingham to Alexander Zverev.
This marks the third time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour and the first time since the 2012 Australian Open. Murray leads the head-to-head series 2-0, and while none of those wins were on grass, he will likely change that in his opening match.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Straight Sets