Although likely no longer a real contender, Andy Murray‘s Wimbledon journey will be one to watch this fortnight given it had seemed he was on the verge of retirement for many years. He closes out the initial Centre Court session on Day 1 against James Duckworth, who achieved his career best third round at Wimbledon only last year.
Having ended the season with some good performances last year, most notably Paris and Nursultan, Duckworth may well have fancied his chances to further build on the career high ranking he earned at the start of the year. It has been all downhill for him since with no wins in main draws in 2022. After a three month absence following the Australian Open, he has found it tough with four opening round losses across British and Dutch grass.
Consistency had been hard to come by for Murray this year but he will be happy with his grass season to date. A semi final in Surbiton was followed up with a stellar effort in Stuttgart, only losing to Matteo Berrettini in a tight three set final. Between playing one of the main contenders tough and beating both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios, it seems clear that he is ready to compete rather than just to see some cheers in front of a hometown crowd.
“I know the tennis is in there; I just need to bring it out during the event now,” said Murray. “Obviously having Ivan on my team helps. We’ve had a lot of success in the past. We know each other well. He still believes in me. There’s not loads of people out there that have done over this last period, and he has. That definitely helps me.”
It is not implausible that Murray makes a run to the quarter finals with the draw he has been handed. Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz are the leading seeds but neither have done enough on grass to be given the benefit of the doubt that they will meet in the fourth round. Murray looks capable of sticking with the better players now although the best of five format is what may trouble the Brit as the tournament goes on.
Prediction – Andy Murray in straight sets