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Will Andy Murray play at Wimbledon and where does he stand?

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Andy Murray has been preparing for this moment for months. Wimbledon has been circled on his calendar for some time now.

After having surgery on his hip in January, the goal for his team and himself was that he would be ready for this year’s tournament. All of that is up in the air now.

Earlier this week, Murray noted that he would make the decision of whether he would enter his name in the tournament before the draw is made on Friday morning. In an interview with the BBC, Murray said: “It’s whether I can do myself justice. I want to go out there and compete.”

In his return from injury, Murray competed in the Queen’s Club tournament and the Nature Valley international over the past two weekends. At Queen’s Club, his first tournament match in nearly a year, he lost in the first round to Nick Kyrgios. This was followed up by an impressive performance in Eastbourne when he defeated former Grand Slam champion Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1 6-3, before bowing out to fellow Brit Kyle Edmund in the next round.

While many would decide to play another exhibition match ahead of Wimbledon to test their fitness, Murray has instead opted to just rest and discuss how he feels with his team. As of now, it's anyone’s guess whether he will play. For a player who relies on athleticism as much as Murray does, the hip issue can be a tricky one. He may decide that resting up for the hard court season is the rational decision to make.

If Murray does decide to play, he will not have to carry the weight of a nation, a role he has shouldered in the past. Kyle Edmund, Britain’s rising star, is currently ranked number 18 in the world and is prepared to grab Murray’s mantle as Britain’s hero. His best finish at Wimbledon was reaching the second round in 2017, a result he vies to improve this year.

While Edmund has risen in popularity throughout Great Britain since his ascent, Murray will still be the top attraction among British fans. If he is to make a significant impact in the tournament, though, he will have to improve his play from the past two weekends.

Murray looked sluggish and outmatched in his two losses, which is unsurprising due to his 11-month absence from tournament play. He only began training again in March of this year in Nice after surgery in January. 

Murray has said that he doesn’t want to go to Wimbledon to ‘just play’; he wants to ‘compete properly’. This leads us to the conclusion that Murray will have to feel as close to 100% as possible in order to enter his name into the tournament.

If he does play, in terms of expectations for Murray, a sensible estimate would be a relatively early exit. Players returning from long injuries do not have a track record of winning Grand Slams, so if Murray were to win a few matches it should be seen as a success.

His results will heavily be impacted by his location in the draw. Seeing as though Murray will be a Wildcard in the tournament, his spot in the draw is unpredictable.

Fans of Murray should be happy about his triumphant return, but shouldn’t get their hopes up for a long Wimbledon run.

That would be unfair. It’s best to just celebrate one of tennis’ greats playing on the court again.

Image Credit - Flickr Commons, Paul Kane, Yann Caredec

 

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