Tennis

Ice baths help Murray cope

World No. 1 and defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is using daily ice baths and extra exercise to strengthen his sore hip and maintain his fitness throughout the SW19 event.

Murray suffered an injury scare in the week before Wimbledon as he pulled out of two exhibition matches at Hurlingham due to a sore hip sustained during last month's French Open semi-final loss to Stan Wawrinka.

"My team have given me a few different exercises to do during the day when we're together, and also at home in the evening," Murray wrote in a column for BBC.

"It's probably about 20 minutes of extra stuff... that means two freezing cold dips a day - one at Wimbledon and one in my ice bath at home before bed.

"It might not be everyone's ideal preparation for a good night's sleep, but fortunately I've got used to plunging myself into ice-cold water over the years and I don't mind it."

The extra effort worked wonders on Monday as Murray cruised to a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik without showing any signs of injury troubles in the first round at the All England Club.

He faces Dustin Brown in the second round today.

However, former world No. 4 Greg Rusedski believes Murray's hip was a hindrance against Bublik and the 30-year-old's lack of rest since earning the top ranking last November would stop him from reaching the Wimbledon final.

"What does worry me is that Andy is so far from looking fresh. I don't see why he can't make it through to the semi-finals, but I also expect all the 'Big Four' to go deep," Rusedski said. - REUTERS

ANDY MURRAYWimbledontennis