June 29, 2018
Andy Murray is due to face the Frenchman, Benoit Paire at Wimbledon and describes himself as ‘most likely’ to play, as long as there is no late change in the way his body is feeling.
It will be a tough start for Murray and it would be an achievement to get past a top 50 player at this stage of his recovery.
Although he beat the world number 48 in straight sets at Wimbledon last year, Paire came within a point of beating Roger Federer at Halle last week.
That suggests Murray will have his work cut out to progress – and would then probably face the promising youngster, Denis Shapovalov in the next round.
Should Andy Murray defy the odds to reach round three, Juan Martin del Potro could be waiting.
That makes it unlikely Murray would make it to the second week, given the early stage of his competitive recovery.
But tennis is full of surprises and you never know whether the surroundings and support at Wimbledon might give Murray an edge we haven’t yet seen, should he opt to play as now seems likely.
Meanwhile, a Brit with a greater chance of second-week action, Kyle Edmund, starts his campaign against the Australian, Alex Bolt.
Jo Konta, who went so close last year, plays Natalia Vikhlyanseva in this year’s first round, while defending champion Garbine Muguruza takes on another Brit, Naomi Broady.
Serena Williams, seeded 25th, opens against Arantxa Rus, assuming she does indeed play as expected following her pectoral injury.
Meanwhile, the other two giants of our sport should be relatively pleased with their draw, though there are no pushovers at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer plays Dusan Lajovic of Serbia, while Rafael Nadal takes on Dudi Sela of Israel.
The waiting is nearly over and the most important tennis show on earth is about to begin.
The skies are blue, the weather forecast set fair, and this will definitely be a Grand Slam to savour.