The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

5 things to know about Wimbledon: Nation 'despondent' over World Cup turns its eyes to Murray

  • Print

LONDON - The first question posed to Andy Murray at his pre-Wimbledon news conference concerned England's early exit from the World Cup and how the tennis player might feel "to have the hopes of a despondent nation" on his shoulders.

Murray paused, before replying with a single word: "Wow."

Then Murray smiled and again said, "Wow."

Welcome back to the All England Club, Andy, where the attention and expectations are unlike those heaped on any tennis player at any other tournament.

Murray has handled it all quite well, reaching at least the semifinals five consecutive times, getting to the final in 2012 before losing to Roger Federer, and then in 2013 becoming the first British man in 77 years to win Wimbledon. He'll open his title defence Monday on Centre Court against David Goffin of Belgium, who has lost seven Grand Slam matches in a row.

After composing himself, Murray did get around to answering Sunday's opening query: "To be honest, I don't feel too much different than I did a few days ago. I'm here to try and win the tournament. That's it. My focus is solely on the first match, preparing properly for that."

Five other things to know about Wimbledon on Monday:

NOVAK AND BORIS: Boris Becker won three Wimbledon titles in the 1980s and was a runner-up four times, and now he's helping coach No. 1-seeded Novak Djokovic. "This is his surface. This is his home," said Djokovic, the 2011 champion and 2013 runner-up. It's their first trip to the All England Club as a pair. Assuming Djokovic is healthy — he said he felt "a little bit of a strange sensation" recently in his problematic right wrist, but declared "now it's fine" — his first match hardly shapes up as a test. His opponent, Andrey Golubev, has lost nine matches in a row on grass.

VENUS ON COURT 2: Venus Williams has won five singles trophies at the All England Club, but she hasn't won a match there since 2011. She lost in the first round on Court 2 in 2012, then missed Wimbledon last year with a back injury. On Monday, the 30th-seeded Williams returns to Court 2, facing Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor.

AZARENKA EYES A WIN: Victoria Azarenka is a two-time Australian Open champion, a two-time Wimbledon semifinalist and a former No. 1, but it's hard to know what to expect from her Monday. It's been five months since she won a match, mainly because of a left foot injury. She plays on Court 1 against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, a Wimbledon semifinalist way back in 1999.

DIMITROV VS. HARRISON: For all the potential of 11th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov, the 23-year-old Bulgarian is awaiting a real breakthrough at a Grand Slam tournament. He has lost in the first round in seven of his 15 previous appearances. At Wimbledon, he's never been past the second round. But he did win the Queen's Club grass-court title this month. He faces 22-year-old American qualifier Ryan Harrison, who always seems to run up against highly seeded players at majors.

STEPHENS VS. KIRILENKO: Only one woman has reached the second week at each of the last six major tournaments. No, not Serena Williams. Or Maria Sharapova. It's 18th-seeded American Sloane Stephens, who is 31-12 over her career in Grand Slam matches, 55-54 elsewhere. On Court 18, she'll take on Maria Kirilenko, a 2012 Wimbledon quarterfinalist and former top-10 player now ranked 109th. Kirilenko is engaged to three-time NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin.

___

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Tree remover has special connection to Grandma Elm

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Korea Veterans Association stained glass window at Deer Lodge Centre. Dedication with Minister of Veterans Affairs Dr. Rey Pagtakhan. March 12, 2003.
  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How surpised are you by the Bombers’ 4-1 start to the season?

View Results

Ads by Google