Wimbledon | Murray ‘s title is under threat

Andy Murray, the defending Wimbledon champion, has been confirmed as the top seed for this year’s Championships but there are real concerns about his fitness and consequently, his ability to retain the title.

I was very fortunate and privileged to have so much success in the last eight, nine years, and kind of entered most of the tournaments as one of the biggest favourites. So for a change it's good to not be one of the top favourites. Novak Djokovic

The seedings were confirmed yesterday with Novak Djokovic, the world No4, in the second spot, the seven-time champion Roger Federer at three and the world No2 and French Open champion, Rafa Nadal in fourth.

All four are the clear favourites to end the Fortnight as champion, but Murray’s fitness is a major concern.

The Scot hasn’t had the best of seasons since he became the top dog of the men’s game, suffering illnesses, shingles and various niggles. Nonetheless he managed to pull himself together to make the semi-finals at Roland Garros, a feat which many hoped was the end of his slump.

At Queen’s though, his second round loss following a bye as the top seed, he crashed out to a player ranked 90 places below him in what was a lack-lustre performance which immediately raised doubts as to his commitment, despite the presence of Ivan Lendl courtside.

His pre-Wimbledon schedule in tatters, he decided to include two exhibition matches in his re-arranged programme but both were subsequently cancelled as was a gentle outing at Tim Henam’s charitable foundation event, all due to a ‘sore hip’.

In five days time he is due to open the proceedings on Centre Court, sore hip or not, but the omens of him going deep into the second week are at present, doubtful.

Meanwhile his main challengers are preparing well with Djokovic down at Eastbourne where he is attempting to rediscover his touch after an equally dramatic drop in his performances over the past few months.

On learning his seeding, Djokovic said in Eastbourne: “I was very fortunate and privileged to have so much success in the last eight, nine years, and kind of entered most of the tournaments as one of the biggest favourites. So for a change it’s good to not be one of the top favourites.”

In contrast Federer and Nadal are making the most of their respective renaissances’ – the Swiss Maestro winning his 9yh Halle title and the Spanish icon, following his record-breaking tenth French Open triumph, practising privately in Mallorca.

Milos Raonic, last year’s runner-up, is seeded six and has his own problems. He also exited Queen’s having made last year’s final, in his opening match and subsequently revealed he was suffering from an illness and carrying injury.

Stan Wawrinka, the fifth seed, looks to be a good ‘dark horse’ bet for this year’ title!

 

Men’s seeds

1 Andy Murray
2 Novak Djokovic
3 Roger Federer
4 Rafael Nadal

5 Stan Wawrinka
6 Milos Raonic
7 Marin Cilic
8 Dominic Thiem

9 Kei Nishikori
10 Alexander Zverev
11 Tomas Berdych
12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
13 Grigor Dimitov
14 Lucas Pouille
15 Gael Monfils
16 Gilles Muller

17 Jack Sock
18 Roberto Bautista Agut
19 Feliciano Lopez
20 Nick Kyrgios
21 Ivo Karlovic
22 Richard Gasquet
23 John Isner
24 Sam Querrey
25 Albert Ramos Vinolas
26 Steve Johnson
27 Mischa Zverev
28 Fabio Fognini
29 Juan Martin del Potro
30 Karen Khachanov
31 Fernando Verdasco
32 Paolo Lorenzi






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