(Reuters) – World number two Andy Murray believes he might not be the only British player to thrive at this year’s Wimbledon and has backed some of the other 14 local hopefuls to make their mark at the grasscourt grand slam.
Murray, who has long been the sole focus of hopes of British success at the All England Club, is almost certain to reduce that number by one when he meets English wildcard Liam Broady in the first round of the men’s singles.
Wildcard James Ward might not last long either, having drawn world number one Novak Djokovic.
Murray’s brother Jamie, however, will be looking for a second grand slam doubles title of the year with Brazilian Bruno Soares, while Dominic Inglot won a doubles title with Canadian Daniel Nestor in Nottingham earlier this month.
“With 15 British players involved in the singles competitions at Wimbledon this year and the recent success in doubles for my brother Jamie and Dominic Inglot, it does feel like there’s a bit of a feelgood factor around British tennis at the moment,” Murray wrote in a BBC column.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect, but this tournament is a big chance for some of them to make their mark and you just hope they do themselves justice, because it’s tough working your way up through the rankings.”
Among others from the country, British women’s number one Johanna Konta has been seeded 16th, while Heather Watson and Naomi Broady are in also in the women’s main draw.
Murray, who lifted a record fifth Queen’s title earlier this month, has been reunited with Ivan Lendl, the former Czech great who coached him to Wimbledon glory in 2013.
(Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney)