Murray asks for late start to Queen's Club campaign

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray has asked to play his first match in this week's Aegon Championships at Queen's Club in London on Wednesday in the hope that he will be fit to appear in his first tournament of the grass-court season. The world No 4 is still troubled by the torn ankle tendon he suffered at the French Open but is keen to play in what would be his only competitive action before Wimbledon, which starts in a fortnight.

Murray has been having treatment from his regular physiotherapist, Andy Ireland, but has been in some discomfort after coming off the painkillers that got him through the French Open.

There is another tournament in Eastbourne next week, though Murray usually prefers to practise in the days before a Grand Slam event. The Scot had planned to spend time on the practice court next week with Darren Cahill, one of the Adidas team of coaches, who has been helping him since the start of the clay-court season but was unable to assist him in Paris due to broadcasting commitments. Murray could also play one or more exhibition matches next week, though he would prefer to go into Wimbledon with some competitive matches under his belt.

Murray is the No 2 seed at Queen's behind Rafael Nadal. He has a bye in the first round, after which he would play either the 2002 Wimbledon semi-finalist, Belgium's Xavier Malisse, or Germany's Matthias Bachinger, the world No 99. Thereafter he is seeded to meet Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic, who beat him in the first round at Queen's five years ago, followed by Croatia's Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals and Andy Roddick, who is going for a record fifth victory in the tournament, in the semi-finals.

Three other Britons have been given wild cards. Oliver Golding, 17, will make his tour debut when he plays Nicolas Mahut, while Dan Cox and James Ward have been drawn against each other, the winner to meet Stanislas Wawrinka in the second round. Alex Bogdanovic lost in the final round of qualifying yesterday to the American Bobby Jones, the world No 109.

Kaia Kanepi, of Estonia, and Ana Ivanovic, of Serbia, are the top seeds at the Aegon Classic at Edgbaston following the withdrawals of Maria Sharapova and Marion Bartoli. Heather Watson leads the British contingent, which also includes Naomi Broady, who beat the American Sloane Stephens in the final round of qualifying yesterday, and the wild cards Mel South, Emily Webley-Smith and Samantha Murray.