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Andy Murray won’t overlook John Isner as hopes rise of a long Wimbledon run

Andy Murray ahead of a practice session on day two of Wimbledon (John Walton/PA)
Andy Murray ahead of a practice session on day two of Wimbledon (John Walton/PA)

Andy Murray may be pain free and showing glimpses of his vintage best but he is not setting any targets at Wimbledon this year.

Britain’s two-time former champion is through to the second round after defeating Australia’s James Duckworth in four sets late on Monday night.

Crucially, the Scot revealed afterwards that the stomach strain which hindered his preparations and forced him to miss Queen’s Club had cleared up.

Andy Murray celebrates his first-round victory over James Duckworth
Andy Murray celebrates his first-round victory over James Duckworth (Adam Davy/PA)

Murray has not reached the second week at SW19 in five years and big-serving American 20th seed John Isner stands in the way of matching last year’s run to round three.

In 2017 Murray’s title defence was ended by Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals, when the hip injury that almost ended his career was beginning to take hold.

“Certainly I’m in a better place than I was last year when I played here,” said the 35-year-old.

“In terms of pain I’m certainly in a better place than I was in 2017 when I played here.

 

“But, yeah, I don’t know about having a deep run or not. I’ve got a pretty tricky match in the next round against Isner. I’ll need to be on it for that one if I want to get through it.”

Murray’s record against Isner, eight wins in eight meetings, means he should have nothing to fear on Wednesday, other than another late-night finish on Centre Court.

“I played well against John in the past. I don’t think I’ve ever played him on grass before, so there will be different challenges,” he added.

“He’s played well here before. He was very close to making the final a few years ago. I’ll need to play really well and certainly return a bit better than I did on Monday if I want to get through that.

“(Big servers) are obviously very tough players to play against because of the nature of how the matches go. You’re not necessarily always in control of them.

“You can go four or five service return games where you’re not getting any opportunities. There’s not always lots of rhythm in the match, so it’s difficult. But for whatever reason I’ve always played well against them.”