Andy Murray and wife Kim are expecting their second child.
“We’re both obviously very happy and looking forward to it,” Murray said during a press conference Sunday.
Murray said they’d known for awhile and the family knew as well, although he didn’t want to get into specific dates.
In the grand scheme of things, though, the biggest news topic is the state of the defending champion’s hip.
Murray skipped a pair of planned exhibition practice matches at the Boodles, although he has been practicing all week with some younger players, including 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov and 16-year-old Aidan McHugh, the second-ranked junior player in Great Britain.
Murray not too hip this week
What’s the matter with the hip, specifically?
“I’ve had hip problems since I was very young. You know, it’s not something new to me. It’s just been very sore the last few weeks. It was giving me quite a lot of trouble moving to certain shots and getting into certain positions. So that was why I needed to take the break, to try and give it a chance to settle down, calm down a bit,” Murray said. “It’s felt much better the last few days.”
Murray said he’d not been in this position too often, of having a physical concern just a few days before a Grand Slam.
“Obviously this is an extremely important tournament, so you worry a little bit. It’s a little bit stressful if you can’t practice for a few days, you really want to be preparing, you know, training as much as you can to get ready and make you feel better – especially when you hadn’t had any matches,” he said.
“Just tried to think positively. I tried to make the best decisions along with my team to give myself the best chance to feel good on Monday. I feel like I’ve done that.”
The Brit admitted he’s human. Being the one to essentially kick off Wimbledon, on the first Monday, at 1 p.m., when he walks on court as the defending men’s champion, does add a few nerves.
But he’s been in this position before, so he figures he’ll be able to handle those.
As for the baby, if you caught a glimpse of Murray’s wife Kim Sears at the Queen’s Club event two weeks ago, it wasn’t hard to put two and two together. She was, as they say, blooming.
Two Saturday sessions
Here’s how Murray looked on the practice court, in two sessions Saturday.
As he was walking up from his court at Aorangi Park after the first one, he definitely looked to be a little limpy. But since a lot of players look like they’re walking on hot coals when they’re off the court, or between points – and suddenly, when they’re chasing the ball, run like the wind – you wouldn’t read too much into it.
Bubbly Bublik makes Wimbledon debut
As for his first-round opponent, lucky lower Alexander Bublik of Ukraine, Murray will have to feel it as he goes, watch some video to try to make some sense of the 20-year-old whimsical, improvisational game. But he has talk to some people about him.
“He’s obviously a big personality. You know, he’s not a quiet guy. Yeah, from what I’ve heard, he’s pretty entertaining on the court in terms of the way he plays, how he is. You know, quite unorthodox. He plays a lot of unexpected shots, a lot of drop shots, mixes his game up a lot, takes chances, tries some more sort of shots that guys may play in exhibitions, he tries when he’s out there. That’s what I’ve heard,” Murray said.
Tennis.Life ran into Bublik along St. Mary’s Walk, after his session with a pack of reporters in a small interview room. You can see a glimpse of that in his GoPro video above.
I asked him if he’d ever talked to that many reporters at once. He laughed and said no, and added they’d probably be there after his match as well.
He didn’t say it, but if he loses, that session is probably going to be a lot less enjoyable. Then again, this kid seems to be enjoying all of it.
Then, unprompted, Bublik asked: “Do you think I can win ?”
My answer, “If you don’t think you can, don’t get on the court at all.”
He stood there, pondered that, nodded, and walked away.
From Russia, to Kazakhstan … to the AELTC
Bublik was born and raised just south of St. Petersburg Russia. But he is now playing for Kazakhstan. He will walk out into the game’s most famous cathedral on Monday promptly at 1 p.m., with the defending champion.
It will be his first Wimbledon, after his first qualifying effort. And it’s only his second Grand Slam tournament after he qualified in Australia this year, and upset Lucas Pouille of France in the first round.
The crowd will be holding its collective breath (it does that a lot, with British players), hoping Murray’s hip is as fine as he says it is.
It will be fascinating to see how a kid who is already developing a reputation for being loose as a goose on court, never appearing to take it too seriously, will react to one of the most elegant moments in tennis.