World No1 Sir Andy Murray has vowed to fight to retain his Wimbledon crown after declaring himself fit for the championships despite his preparations being impaired by a hip injury.
Murray has not played since his first round demise against Australia’s Jordan Thompson at the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club last month – his sole competitive clash on grass this year.
The 30-year-old was forced to cancel two exhibition matches at the Hurlingham Club last week but managed three practice sessions on Saturday before hitting with world No11 Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday morning.
He faces Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik in the opening round on Centre Court on Monday afternoon and, despite not promising free-flowing tennis, Murray insists he will be physically durable for the entire Wimbledon fortnight.
“I’ll be fine to play the event and play seven matches,” said Murray. “If I feel like I am today, I’d be delighted and have no issues getting through. If necessary, I can take some anti-inflammatories if my hip flares up. Hopefully that’s not the case.
“Obviously I would have liked to have trained the whole week and got a couple of exhibition matches but also the positive from it is that I’m fresh.
“I certainly haven’t played too much tennis – but I’m certainly going to have to work my way into the tournament. I’m probably not going to come out and play great straight off the bat.
“It’s just a little bit stressful. Right before the biggest tournament of the year for me as a Brit, you want to be out there practising, and I haven’t been in that position before really.”
Murray, who confirmed on Sunday that he and his wife Kim are expecting their second child, believes his run to the semi-finals at Roland Garros earlier this year despite indifferent pre-tournament form can act as a precedent.
“At the French Open, where I maybe did not come in as well prepared, I still found a way with each match to feel a bit better, and build confidence each day. I am hoping that is the case here,” added Murray.
Fellow British No1 Johanna Konta, meanwhile, also doused injury concerns after withdrawing from the Aegon International at Eastbourne on Friday following a heavy fall the previous day.
Konta suffered a spine injury during her quarter-final victory over world No1 Angelique Kerber, but is confident of facing Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei on Court One on Monday.
“I’m definitely recovering really well. I’m taking it day by day,” said Konta. “I practised today. I felt good. I’m definitely looking forward to playing my first round.
“Like Andy, I’d like to think that I’m fit enough to play seven matches, but I’m going to be taking it one at a time.”
As well as Kerber, Konta also beat French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko at Eastbourne, which has left the 26-year-old – the first British woman since 1984 to be ranked in the world’s top 10 – in confident mood.
She added: “Overall I’m coming into Wimbledon with some great time on the grass against some great players. That doesn’t guarantee anything here results-wise, but I definitely have prepared the best I can.”