x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Andy Murray and Roger Federer set their sights on Wimbledon

Scotsman has a bad back, but is optimistic about playing at Aegon Championships starting on Monday, and Swiss master keen to put behind him French Open exit.

Andy Murray, who had to withdraw from the French Open with injury, had been to three straight grand slam finals including at last year's Wimbledon.
Andy Murray, who had to withdraw from the French Open with injury, had been to three straight grand slam finals including at last year's Wimbledon.

Andy Murray, the men's world No 2 in tennis, believes he is on track to appear at the Aegon Championships at the Queen's Club next week.

The 26 year old is sitting out the French Open in a bid to improve a long-standing back problem, and has always been targeting the traditional Wimbledon warm-up tournament for his return.

With just a few days to go before the action begins at Queen's, he tweeted: "Barring no setbacks in the next couple of days I will be making an appearance at the club of the queen next week! £backontrack".

The Aegon Championships begin on Monday, exactly two weeks before the start of Wimbledon.

Murray recently revealed he had been living with the back problem for some time.

He told ESPN: "It's been tough, it's something I've been dealing with on and off for 18 months.

"It's worse on certain surfaces and in certain conditions and when it flares up it's tough to have it calm down.

"It has obviously been tough for me on the clay over the last couple of years. It's just something I have been having to deal with the last little while and hopefully it will get better."

By sitting out the French Open, Murray ended a run of three straight grand slam final appearances.

Federer turns sights on Wimbledon

Roger Federer will seek solace in the grass courts after a humbling defeat by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the French Open.

It was expected to be a close match but Tsonga dominated to win 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 and reach his first semi-final at Roland Garros.

Federer lost prior to the semi-final stage in Paris for only the second time since 2004, and he will now begin preparing for next week’s grass tournament in Halle and the defence of his Wimbledon title.

The 31 year old made no attempt to sugar-coat the defeat, admitting he was well beaten and making plain the disappointment that he could not raise his game to a better level.

He said: “I know some people say I only care about how I play and not about the result. I mean, I care more about the result than how I played, to be honest, because it gives me another opportunity to play well in the next match.

“I didn’t do that, so I’m sent packing home. Which is okay. It’s easier when you change surface. That definitely helps.

“This is obviously a crushing loss and I’m disappointed about it, but now I look forward to other things. I love the grass-court season.

“Especially as it’s been 10 years since my first Wimbledon victory. So I’m looking forward to coming back to Halle and Wimbledon, where I did the double 10 years ago. I’m sure it’s going to be a nice swing.”

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