Andy Murray given potential Wimbledon boost as draw reveals first-round opponent

Andy Murray remains a doubt ahead of what could be his final Wimbledon  (Getty Images)
Andy Murray remains a doubt ahead of what could be his final Wimbledon (Getty Images)

Andy Murray has been given an extra day to recover for his final Wimbledon after learning that his opening match against Tomas Machac would not be until Tuesday.

Murray took his place in the singles draw despite admitting he may not be ready to compete after undergoing an operation on his spine, and was handed a first-round tie against the 23-year-old Machac, who is ranked 38 in the world.

Murray, 37, has lost twice to Machac this year, including in a final-set tiebreak at Miami where the former World No 1 suffered an ankle ligament injury that ruled him out for six weeks.

But as Murray landed on the bottom side of the draw, the news that the two-time Wimbledon champion will not play on Tuesday was a bonus to his chances of being fit enough to compete. With defending champion Carlos Alcaraz taking his place in the top half of the draw and opening play on Centre Court on Monday, the bottom half of the draw will follow on Tuesday.

Murray is prepared to wait until the last moment before making a decision on whether to play in the singles as he recovers from surgery on a spinal cyst, but a Tuesday start in the singles allows Murray more time to assess his condition. “Maybe it’s my ego getting in the way but I feel that I deserve the opportunity to give it until the very last moment to make that decision,” Murray said on Thursday.

He has taken a wildcard alongside brother Jamie Murray for the doubles, which starts later in the first week. The Murrays were drawn against Australian pair John Peers and Rinky Hijikata in the opening round.

Emma Raducanu’s Wimbledon return will be against the 22nd seed Ekaterina Alexandrova, with the former US Open champion making her first appearance in two years after undergoing surgery on both wrists and one ankle last season.

Raducanu has shown glimpses of form on the grass, including a first top-10 win of her career against Jessica Pegula in Nottingham this week in Eastbourne, but Alexandrova is a tough opponent and reached the fourth round at Wimbledon last year.

Emma Raducanu hits a volley at Eastbourne (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)
Emma Raducanu hits a volley at Eastbourne (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)

British No 1 Katie Boulter, who is seeded for the first time, will play Tatjana Maria and could play compatriot Harriet Dart in the second round, while fifth seed Pegula could be a potential opponent in round three.

There was a similar story on the men’s side, as British No 1 Jack Draper was handed a potential second-round clash with compatriot Cameron Norrie. Draper arrives at Wimbledon having landed his first ATP title in Stuttgart and beating Carlos Alcaraz at Queen’s and will play qualifier Elias Ymer in round one, while Norrie meets Facundo Diaz Acosta.

Draper, also seeded at Wimbledon for the first time, could face world No 4 Alexander Zverev in the third round, but it was a favourable draw for British players.