June 30, 2017 / 1:12 AM / 2 years ago

Lendl confident Murray will be fit to defend Wimbledon title

LONDON (Reuters) - Andy Murray’s coach Ivan Lendl is “not at all” concerned that injury would prevent the world number one from defending his Wimbledon title next week.

Britain Tennis - Aegon Championships - Queen’s Club, London - June 19, 2017 Great Britain's Andy Murray with coach Ivan Lendl during practice Action Images via Reuters / Tony O'Brien Livepic

Murray has twice pulled out of matches at a grasscourt exhibition tournament in London this week because of a hip problem but Lendl said the 30-year-old Scot was likely to resume practice at Wimbledon on Friday.

“We’ll see what the weather is like,” Lendl told the British media. “If the weather is good, I am sure we will practise.”

Asked whether he was concerned about Murray’s Wimbledon campaign, the Czech said: “Not at all. Unlike before Paris, he is hitting the ball really well. Practice has gone well.”

Murray was knocked out of the semi-finals of the French Open in Paris by Stan Wawrinka earlier this month but lost his only tour outing since that match to lowly-ranked Australian Jordan Thompson on the grasscourts of Queen’s Club.

“I wasn’t really surprised,” Lendl added. “The first match on grass is always tricky. The guys who beat Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Andy had played qualifying or the previous week at a tournament. We have seen that movie over and over.

“Guys play matches, feel a little bit more comfortable than the guys who didn’t play.”

Roger Federer, seven times a champion at the All England Club, said he was convinced Murray would be on court for his first round match at Wimbledon on Monday.

“I expect him to play unless I have missed something completely,” the Swiss told British newspapers.

“I would know more about it, I think, if it had been a really significant injury. The way I know Andy, he’s tough as nails and I feel like he’s going to be there on the opening Monday.

“He would need to be significantly injured not to play. For me, if he can get through that first round and feel better afterwards, absolutely he should play.”

Top seed Murray will discover his first round opponent when the draw is made later on Friday.

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney editing by Peter Rutherford

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