Andy Murray set to kick off Wimbledon campaign on centre court

The former SW19 champion returns to the site of his triumphs in 2013 and 2016 after battling injury in the build up to the tournament.

Andy Murray kicks off Wimbledon campaign in centre court meeting with James Duckworth Getty Images

Andy Murray is set to kickstart his Wimbledon comeback against James Duckworth on centre court after an injury-disrupted runup to the tournament.

The two-time champion suffered an abdominal strain in the final of the ATP tournament in Stuttgart two weeks ago, forcing his withdrawal from the traditional warmup at Queen’s.

The 35-year-old has reunited with coach Ivan Lendl for a tilt at the championships in front of a capacity crowd for the first time since 2019.

Murray is yet to advance beyond the third round of the tournament since undergoing hip surgery in 2017, but is favourite against the world number 77-ranked Australian in the arena where he lifted the trophy in 2013 and 2016.

Duckworth experienced similar injury issues earlier in his career, but Murray admitted he expects to be tested in front of a home crowd.

“He’s a proper hard worker,” he said.

“He got up to his career-high ranking last year, he finished last year extremely well and then had the surgery.

“I’m sure we’ll have a good match on Monday.”

Murray is slated to appear on centre court’s final match of the day, following Novak Djokovic’s meeting with Soonwoo Kwon and Emma Radacanu’s clash with Alison Van Uytvanck.

It is unlikely the former world number one will appear before 5pm, with play scheduled from 1.30pm.

Elsewhere, Wimbledon has barred Russian and Belarusian players in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Men’s world number one Daniil Medvedev and women’s number five Aryna Sabalenka are among those to miss out.

The decision has had serious repercussions, with the ATP and WTA deciding to withhold ranking points from the tournament.

Organisers have also announced record prize money for this summer’s tournament, with the two singles champions taking home £2m.

The total prize money of £40.35m is an 11.1% increase on 2021’s Championships, where capacity was reduced for Covid reasons, and 5.4% higher than the last regular tournament in 2019.

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