Djokovic Confident for Eighth Wimbledon Title, Murray Willing to Risk Swansong

Djokovic Confident for Eighth Wimbledon Title, Murray Willing to Risk Swansong

Novak Djokovic insists he is at Wimbledon to win his eighth title – not merely make up the numbers so soon after the knee surgery this month which threatened his participation.

In a warning to his rivals, the 37-year-old declared himself fit, saying he has not encountered a single setback and will hold nothing back from the moment he faces Vit Kopriva in the first round.

‘I didn’t come here to play a few rounds and prove to myself and others that I can actually compete in one or two matches,’ Djokovic said yesterday. ‘I really want to go for the title. The last three days have given me enough optimism and good signs that I can actually be in a state to compete on the highest level for the next few weeks.’

Djokovic practised with Jannik Sinner, Frances Tiafoe, Daniil Medvedev, Emil Ruusuvuori and Holger Rune this week, wishing to push his knee to the maximum prior to Wimbledon’s start.

The defending champion Carlos Alcaraz has described Djokovic as ‘superhuman’. The Serbian played down that compliment but added: ‘If I had one setback, I would then be questioning whether I should be here or not. But I haven’t had a single one. Why not give it a shot?

Novak Djokovic has warned  rivals he’s not at Wimbledon to make up the numbers

Andy Murray says he's 'willing' to risk playing in SW19 swansong as he continues his recovery

Andy Murray says he’s ‘willing’ to risk playing in SW19 swansong as he continues his recovery 

‘If I had a day where my knee just flares up and I have swelling and inflammation, of course I would be slowing down, then my whole Wimbledon, this year’s participation, would be in doubt. But that didn’t happen. It’s not happening.’

Meanwhile, Britain’s Andy Murray gave a downbeat appraisal of his chances of playing in the Wimbledon singles – but vowed that he is willing to take a risk with his body to do so.

The 37-year-old practiced at Wimbledon yesterday, appearing in public for the first time since having a spinal cyst removed. ‘There’s risks associated with what I’m trying to do and I’m willing to take that to try and play,’ he said.

‘We’ll see what happens. I need to be able to move properly, which I can’t yet, so let’s see in 48 hours or so. I don’t know. Tough to know how it’s going to progress, really.’

Murray hit for an hour but never at a high intensity. The two-time champion is at Wimbledon one last time, before planning to retire at the Olympics, and is hoping the nerve pain settles down in time for him to play his first-round match on Tuesday against Czech Tomas Machac.


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