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Murray form will concern rivals

Murray form will concern rivals

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As we approach the end of the first week of Wimbledon the possibility of a third SW19 title for Andy Murray appears to be growing by the day.

There were real fears over the world number one’s fitness heading into the year’s third Grand Slam, with hip problems forcing him to sit out the warm-up event at the Hurlingham Club and potentially contributing to his first round Queen’s Club exit.

But so far there have been no concerns for Murray as he’s breezed through his first two rounds in straight sets. His performance against Dustin Brown was certainly a display that caught the eye.

The entertaining German beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2015, but caused few problems for Murray – who ran out a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 winner.

The Scot, who is 11/2 to win Wimbledon outright, will next face Fabio Fognini, a player he has had difficulties against in the past. But those defeats came on clay – the Italian’s favourite surface – and Murray should be too strong for his third round opponent.

Nadal also had fitness worries heading into Wimbledon but he has also looked strong in the first two rounds and has seen his odds cut to 7/2 to claim the men’s title.

The Spaniard continues to say how tough he will find it on the grass, due to his long-standing knee issues, although confidence is clearly flowing after his 10th French Open success last month.

Meanwhile, the women’s singles is wide open especially after the exit of Petra Kvitova on Wednesday.

Despite her concerns off the court, Venus Williams is the only remaining player who has previously won the Wimbledon title and at 11/1, looks like a very good value bet.

Another one to watch at a big price is Dominika Cibulkova, who is through to round three and looking strong. The 28-year-old is a two-time quarter finalist at Wimbledon and having seen off the dangerous Andrea Petkovic, could be one to watch at 40/1 – although she could face Venus in round four.

It’s 40 years since an English woman lifted the Wimbledon title and Johanna Konta will have high hopes of reaching the latter stages this year.

The British number one is a big favourite at 2/17 to beat Maria Sakkari in round three and 13/2 in the Outright betting.

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Warren Ashurst

Warren has been a sports journalist for over 25 years, both written and broadcast.

Having worked as a radio commentator, he has a wealth of experience of seeing top-level sport first hand and specialises in football, golf and cricket.