Hip Check: Aussie takes on Murray at Wimbledon; Djokovic confirms vax call

Unsurprisingly, the Murray-Duckworth clash will be a center court feature on day one in London, as the strawberry-and-cream crowd remains entangled in the Scot’s tennis fortune.

It’s a tough opening task for Duckworth against a “pretty inspiring” opponent, now with a metal hip, whom he’s inevitably come to admire.

“I’ve always loved watching him play,” said Duckworth, describing his own physical condition as a “work in progress.”

“I played against him a few times – once at the US Open, once in Brisbane. He is clearly an incredible player, a great career, still going on… very cool to see him still dealing with the injury he had on his hip.

“He’s been through a lot physically… someone like that is quite inspiring.”

Duckworth is taking things as they come, his latest injury layoff means a return could take some time at best.

†[I] had a labral tear. I had also shaved a little blunt,” said the world No.77.

“I haven’t played a tournament for 16 weeks.

“It was a bit of a shame. I played pretty well at the end of last year.

“It was hard to stop that momentum, but I’m back now and slowly getting a little better every week.


“It’s not 100 percent. It will take a few more weeks to get to 100 percent, but it’s good enough to play.”

Looking at Murray’s documentary, a cursory account of the injury that nearly drove the now 35-year-old into retirement, it’s clear that the Briton’s sheer love for the sport was the driving force that kept him going.

Duckworth comes with a similar love of competition.

“I love to push myself. I enjoy the one-on-one battle.”

No vax for Djokovic, will miss US Open unless rules change

Novak Djokovic knows that as things stand now, Wimbledon will be his last grand slam tournament of 2022 because he won’t be able to play in the US Open – he hasn’t received any COVID-19 shots and can’t enter the United States as an unvaccinated foreigner.

“That’s an extra motivation to do well here,” the 35-year-old Serb said at the All England Club this weekend.

Djokovic started this season alongside Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at 20 major championships, then the record for a man. But Djokovic’s decision not to get vaccinated led to his deportation from Australia from the Australian Open in January – and Nadal won that tournament, finishing 21st.


Nadal then defeated Djokovic in the quarterfinals at the French Open en route to earn his 22nd slam title this month.

When Wimbledon starts on Monday, Djokovic will have the honor of opening the center court as defending champion. He is ranked No. 1 and will bid for a fourth consecutive All England Club title and seventh overall.

“Hopefully I can have a very good tournament, as I have done in the last three editions. Then I’ll just have to wait. I would like to go to the United States. But as of today, that is not possible,” said Djokovic, who has been affected twice with COVID-19. “I can’t do much more. I mean, it’s really up to the US government to decide whether or not to let unvaccinated people into the country.”

A reporter noted that Djokovic still has time to get vaccinated before the game kicks off in Flushing Meadows on August 29, then asked him if “you’ve completely closed your mind to that as an option.”

Djokovic replied in one word: “Yes”.

At Wimbledon, Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis hopes to face Djokovic in the second round, provided Djokovic wins and Kokkinakis can beat Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak.


Australia’s new No. 1 woman ‘kinda my worst enemy’

Ajla Tomljanovic has identified the key to acting as Ash Barty’s Wimbledon successor: getting out of the way.

Tomljanovic holds Australian women’s number 1 status in Barty’s non-title defense at the All England Club.

It’s a huge responsibility, especially for a player who finds it hard to even treat himself as number 1.

Ajla Tomljanovic is the number 1 in Australia.Credit:Getty Images

“I’m just going to do my best to get to the next round without putting any pressure on myself because that’s what kills me the most,” Tomljanovic said Tuesday ahead of her first-round fight with 18th-seeded Jil Teichmann.

“I’m kind of my worst enemy sometimes and that’s all I have – myself – and I try to change that and be my own best friend when I need it.”

Tomljanovic enjoyed a breakthrough to the quarter-finals last year, eventually falling for Barty, who became famous for becoming Australia’s first women’s champion at Wimbledon since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1980.

Tomljanovic attributes her success to slowing down for herself and knows she needs a similar approach to be in with a chance of winning an equally memorable campaign in 2022.

“Last year I wasn’t in a bad position, but I just felt like nothing really happened,” said the 29-year-old.

“I remember thinking, ‘You know what, I’m just going to try,’ and I just wanted to win the first round.

“That was my main goal. Once I’ve done that I usually want to win the next two and if I don’t it’s a disappointment.

“It’s just believing that I can do it without thinking about the outcome, which is very hard to do.”

Australians in action in first round

Adrian Mannarino v Max Purcellcourt 14 from 8 p.m. Monday (AEST)
Thanasi Kokkinakis v Kamil Majchrzak, Court 16 from 9.15 pm
John Millman v Miomir Kecmanovic, court 14 from 10 p.m
Maddison Inglis v Dalma Galfi, lane 10 from 10.30pm
Astra Sharma v Tatjana Maria, court 14 from 12 noon on Tuesday
5-Mary Sakkari v Zoe Hiveslane 2 from 1.15 am
Daria Saville v Viktoriya Tomova, lane 8 from 1.15 am
Andy Murray v James Duckworthcenter court from 1.45 am
19-Alex de Minaure v Hugo Dellien, TBD
18-Jil Teichmann against Ajla TomljanovicTo be determined
Paul Jubb v Nick KyrgiosTo be determined
Roberto Carballes Baena v Jordan ThompsonTo be determined
Kirsten Flipkens v Jaimee FourlisTo be determined
Jason Kubler v 28-Dan Evans, TBD
Alexei Popyrin v Hugo Gaston, TBD


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