‘Not the end of world for Murray,’ says Federer

first_img\R London, Jul 2 (AFP) Roger Federer believes Andy Murray made the right decision to withdraw from Wimbledon, insisting it’s “not the end of the world” for the two-time winner. Murray, 31, pulled out on Sunday, less than 24 hours before the start of the tournament, fearing that his long-standing hip injury would not cope with the rigours of two weeks of five-set tennis. “It must be a tough decision but one he’s taking for his career, and his life as well,” said eight-time Wimbledon champion Federer. “I think it’s probably a wise decision. He would give everything to play here and that’s why it hurts.” Murray, the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon winner, had only just returned to action after 11 months on the sidelines due to a hip injury that needed surgery in January. He originally suffered the setback in a five-set loss to Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals at the All England Club last July. “It’s with regret I’m withdrawing from Wimbledon,” Murray, who played just three matches in his comeback, said in a statement. “I’ve made significant progress in practice and matches over the last 10 days but, after lengthy discussions with my team and with a heavy heart, we’ve decided that playing best-of-five-set matches might be a bit too soon in the recovery process.” Murray, whose ranking is down to 156, will now turn his attention to the American hard-court season that culminates in the US Open. He is next scheduled to play in Washington beginning on July 30. “We did everything we could to try to be ready in time. I will start practising on the hard courts and continuing with my rehab and recovery and I’m looking forward to the US hard-court season,” Murray added.advertisement – ‘Sad he’s not playing’ – ========================== Federer believes it would be foolish to write off Murray as a major force in the sport. “If you’re just not feeling it in the morning to walk out there and play best-of-five a few times in a row, what’s the point? You’re only going to have a setback and then everybody’s even more unhappy,” said the defending champion who begins his bid for a ninth title at Wimbledon later Monday against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic. “I’m sad that he’s not playing Wimbledon. It’s a big loss. He’s one of the big guys here. “It’s not the end of the world and we all hope he’s going to come back stronger and win some epic battles on centre court again.” Murray, who was due to face France’s Benoit Paire in the first round, signed off on his statement by saying: “If anyone needs a coach over the next couple weeks give me buzz!” German fourth seed Alexander Zverev, who has yet to get past the last 16 at Wimbledon, was among the first to seek out Murray’s expertise. “If you’ve got nothing better to do the next two weeks and feel like coaching hit me up,” he wrote on Instagram. Nick Kyrgios, who beat Murray in his comeback match at Queen’s last month, added: “Let’s make it happen. I know you like a challenge.” US Open women’s champion Sloane Stephens joined in, writing: “As you know, my coach is always asleep!!!! We need help!!!! Warm up is at 10:30, court 5 — see you there?” Murray’s place in the draw goes to Jason Jung of Taiwan, the world number 154 who has just one win on the main tour in 2018. The American-born 29-year-old has never played a main draw match at the Slams. (AFP) ATKATKlast_img read more

Continue Reading

Australia 2019 ICC World Cup squad to draw inspiration at World War One battle site

first_imgAustralia’s World Cup squad will stop at Gallipoli in Turkey on the way to England to draw inspiration at the World War One battle site where thousands of Australian soldiers died in the ill-fated campaign.The stopover comes nearly a year after Australia coach Justin Langer took his squad on a Western Front tour of historic WWI sites in France and Belgium.”We took the boys to the Western Front last year on the way to England and we’ve had a theme ‘From Lille to Lord’s’ ever since, with the World Cup final at Lord’s on July 14,” Langer told local radio station SEN.”It’s very sobering, and it was an incredible life experience for the boys, and also it gelled the team together with different experiences and interpretations of our history.”Where we are right now, on the way to England for a long campaign representing our country, hopefully (Gallipoli) will be a real catalyst for gelling together and success.”Some 8,700 Australians were among the more than 56,000 Allied soldiers killed in the eight-month Gallipoli campaign which was intended to open up access to the Black Sea for Allied navies but ended up a bloody stalemate against Turkish forces.While the battle was an unmitigated failure, the sacrifices of Australian and New Zealand troops became ingrained in the national identity of both countries.It will be the first trip to Gallipoli by the national cricket team since Steve Waugh led his side there in 2001 ahead of winning the Ashes against England.advertisementLanger was part of the 2001 Ashes victory but missed the Gallipoli trip as he was not part of the one-day squad that preceded the test series. He said it was “one of the regrets of (his) career”.Waugh wrote in his 2005 book “Out of My Comfort Zone” that the visit had a “profound effect” on his squad before they went on to dominate the one-day series and Ashes.Aaron Finch’s Australia wrapped up a three-match series of unofficial World Cup warmups against a depleted New Zealand side with a five-wicket win in Brisbane on Friday.Former captain Steve Smith, back in Australian colours after a 12-month ball-tampering ban, scored 91 not out in an encouraging performance before England but also threw a scare through the camp.When running for a single in the 32nd over, his outstretched bat dug into the turf on the edge of the wicket and appeared to jar the right elbow which underwent surgery earlier in the year.Although in discomfort, Smith was given extra strapping by the team doctor and batted on.After Gallipoli, Australia head to England where they have arranged an unofficial practice match with West Indies on May 22, ahead of sanctioned World Cup warmups against England on May 25 and Sri Lanka on May 27.Australia’s World Cup opener is against Afghanistan on July 1 in Bristol.Also Read | Steve Smith hits unbeaten 91 as Australia XI beat New Zealand XIAlso Read | How good is this kid: Justin Langer impressed by Steve Smith’s Australia returnlast_img read more

Continue Reading