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Andy Murray confirms pre-Wimbledon plans

World No 7 Andy Murray overcame Spaniard Pablo Andujar 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. Picture:Getty

World No 7 Andy Murray overcame Spaniard Pablo Andujar 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. Picture:Getty

  • by EVE FODENS
 

Andy Murray will warm up for his Wimbledon defence by participating in the BNP Paribas Tennis Classic at London’s Hurlingham Club this summer.

Organisers have announced that Murray, the current world No 7, will be one of the star attractions at the exhibition event taking place from 17-20 June.

The Classic will feature a number of the world’s top players, men and women, participating in a series of grass-court matches to fine-tune for Wimbledon the following week.

A number of veteran players, including Tim Henman, Goran Ivanisevic, Mark Philippoussis and Pat Cash, have also been confirmed.

Murray said: “Playing at the Hurlingham Club last June was the perfect way for me to warm up for Wimbledon. It’s a great setting and I’m looking forward to playing again this year.”

Murray is currently in Acapulco and in the early hours of yesterday morning had to battle back from a set down to beat Spaniard Pablo Andujar in the opening round of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel.

Andujar, who held Rafael Nadal to match points in Rio de Janeiro a week ago, got off to another strong start as he took the first set and then broke Murray again, but the Scot responded by winning six games in a row on his way to a 3-6 6-1 6-2 victory.

“I had a difficult start, it was ten minutes in the match and I was down 5-0, but I started to play more aggressively to get the win and hopefully I can have a good week here,” Murray said. “The first set was extremely challenging, he was dictating the points, but later on he was getting tired and put the pressure on him.”

Murray, making his first appearance in Latin American, was scheduled to face Joao Sousa in the second round overnight after the Portuguese saw off Adrian Mannarino 1-6 6-2 6-2.

“I played Joao once in Australia, he was new on the tour then and he has improved. He’s playing good tennis, he’s good on clay and on hard courts”, added Murray. “He plays similar to Pablo, hopefully I can play aggressively from the start.”

Top seed David Ferrer, who won three straight titles in Acapulco from 2010 to 2012 when the tournament was played on clay, adjusted well to the new hard court as he breezed by Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-2 6-3. That has set up a second round meeting with Feliciano Lopez, with the Spaniard beating Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 6-4 6-2.

Third seed John Isner is out already, having gone down 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/5) to Ivo Karlovic, but there were no such problems for fifth seed Kevin Anderson, who beat French qualifier Stephane Robert 6-2 7-6 (9/7).

Seventh seed Ernests Gulbis dispatched Yen-Hsun Lu 6-1 6-1 while Alexandr Dolgopolov carried over his strong form from Rio by beating eighth seed Vasek Pospisil 6-2 6-2. Fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov beat Australian Marinko Matoesevic 7-5 6-1 and Gilles Simon advanced with a 6-1 6-2 win over Tim Smyczek.

Top seeds Dominika Cibulkova, Eugenie Bouchard and Kaia Kanepi advanced in the women’s tournament but there was an early exit for No 5 Yvonne Meusburger.

No 1 Cibulkova saw off Urszula Radwanska 6-3 6-4 while the second-seeded Bouchard was a 6-2 6-2 winner over Shahar Peer.

Third seed Kanepi had a little more work to do in a 6-1 3-6 6-2 win over Jana Cepelova, but Meusburger’s tournament came to a premature end as qualifier Sharon Fichman enjoyed a straight-sets win, 6-1 6-3.

Meanwhile, at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships yesterday, James Ward was knocked out in the second round when he lost in straight sets to Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny.

Ward, who was a wild card for the event and beat another Russian in Teymuraz Gabashvili in the opening round, lost 6-1 7-6 (7/3) to sixth seed Youzhny.

Youzhny eased through the opening set with two breaks of serve, but the second was a much tighter affair as Ward improved his first serve percentage from 40 to 61. The players exchanged one break of serve before the decisive tie-break, which Youzhny won 7-3 to book his place in the next round.

Roger Federer is also through after beating Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-3.

 

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