The build-up to Wimbledon has been longer than ever for Andy Murray but for the Scot there is at last only one day to go. Twenty-four hours after Novak Djokovic plays the traditional opening match on Centre Court this afternoon as defending champion, it will be Murray’s turn to open his campaign against Mikhail Kukushkin.
With an extra seven days inserted between the French Open and Wimbledon, which from this year onwards is being played a week later, players have more chance to hone their grass-court game. Most have played at least one tournament and taken the opportunity to spend more time on the practice court.
Murray, who will have both Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman to coach him over the next fortnight, has practised with a number of different players, including Rafael Nadal. The idea of practising with your major rivals is a surprise to some observers, who point out that you would not expect to see Floyd Mayweather sparring with Manny Pacquiao or Chelsea and Manchester United players contesting a five-a-side match in training.