A lot going on for Murray as Wimbledon defense begins

first_imgTobias Harris’ late 3 seals Sixers’ win over Knicks McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Britain’s Andy Murray rests between shots during a practice session ahead of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Sunday, July 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)LONDON — Based on Andy Murray’s body language alone, reporters’ questions can produce an inordinate amount of consternation.He’ll puff his cheeks, then let out a sigh. He’ll rub his forehead, then clutch his chin. When answers do arrive, some are preceded by a hesitant “Ummm.” Others begin with “No” or “I wouldn’t have thought so” — or both. “I don’t know” is a popular refrain.ADVERTISEMENT Truth is, given all that is going on at the moment, the No. 1-seeded Murray could be forgiven for having a lot on his mind as he prepares to start his title defense at the All England Club on Monday.There’s a second child on the way for Murray and his wife — happy news, of course, and on Sunday, he assured a reporter who asked about its potential effect on his tennis this fortnight, “It’s certainly not a distraction in the slightest.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’There’s his inconsistent season and the chance he could relinquish his spot atop the rankings to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Stan Wawrinka two weeks from now.There’s the matter of figuring out how to deal with his unorthodox opponent in the grass-court Grand Slam tournament’s opening Centre Court match. They’ve never played each other, but Murray is somewhat familiar with Alexander Bublik, who is from Russia but represents Kazakhstan, just turned 20 and says he finds watching tennis boring: They had an off-court encounter for an ATP promotional video this year. Among other topics, Bublik discussed the “famous” Russian rappers he expects in his guest box on Monday; the tattoos on his right forearm (a map showing his hometown of St. Petersburg and a couple of quotations attributed to Eminem); and his disdain for following his own sport.“Even Rafa and Fed, you watch, the guys are putting everything in the court. It’s not interesting,” Bublik said with a mischievous grin. “I mean, it’s interesting to see the highlights … but when they’re rallying for 45 shots, you’re sitting and you’re feeling, ‘OK, can I quit tennis, please?’”Very little of Murray’s sort of hemming and hawing there.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LaVine scores 42, Chicago rallies late to beat Cavs Thousands join Kalibo Ati-atihan despite typhoon devastation LATEST STORIES View comments Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte LSU title parade draws massive crowdscenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend MOST READ Still, here was Roger Federer’s assessment of Murray’s chances at a place where in 2013 he became the first British man in 77 years to grab the trophy: “If he’s anything close to 100 percent physically, I consider him one of the big favorites to win the tournament. It’s that simple.”Murray did manage to reach the semifinals at the French Open, but since then he has played only one match — and lost.“I can take some anti-inflammatories if my hip flares up,” he said. “Hopefully that’s not the case.”Could be a lot of running required Monday, given the 134th-ranked Bublik’s penchant for sliced returns, drop shots, lobs and run-around forehands from midcourt.“My game is unpredictable. I don’t even know what I’m going to do,” Bublik said. “When the ball is coming to me, I decide right before I hit. So I don’t have a plan.”Murray is aware of all of that.“Some more sort of shots that guys may play in exhibitions, he tries when he’s out there,” Murray said. “That’s what I’ve heard.”Bublik acknowledges he’ll win more matches when he can “find a balance between making jokes and (being) a showoff.”He lost in the final round of qualifying last week, but made it into the main draw thanks to another player’s withdrawal.Bublik is known on tour for possessing, as Murray put it, “a big personality,” and that came through vividly during a session with a group of reporters at the All England Club. Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ And there’s also the sore left hip that led one British tabloid to ask readers — at psychic Uri Geller’s prompting — to rub that part of Murray’s body in a front-page photo to heal him.“I’ve felt fairly calm the last few days, considering how I’ve been feeling,” Murray said.The hip forced Murray to skip exhibition matches on grass and a few days of training. But he said it’s feeling much better.“Obviously, this is an extremely important tournament, so you worry a little bit,” he said. “It’s a little bit stressful if you can’t practice for a few days. You really want to be preparing, training, as much as you can to get ready and make you feel better, especially when you hadn’t had any matches.”He is 21-9 so far in 2017, and his lone title came with the benefit of facing only one player ranked in the top 25.ADVERTISEMENT UFC fighter who pooped herself will be sponsored by butt-wipes company Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Clippers, Lakers among most-watched NBA teams by Filipinoslast_img read more

Around Whittier

first_imgWHITTIER – The La Leche League of Whittier will meet from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at St. Bruno’s Catholic Church, 15740 Citrustree Road. La Leche provides information about breastfeeding. For more information, call (562) 448-9226. County staff to attend meeting SOUTH WHITTIER – Representatives of various Los Angeles County departments will attend a Neighborhood Watch meeting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at Adventure County Park, 10130 Gunn Ave. Residents are encouraged to attend. For more information, call (562) 698-7645. Animal blessing to be held Oct. 7 WHITTIER – St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 10925 S. Valley Home Ave., will hold its 10th annual “blessing of the animals” service at 10 a.m. Oct. 7. Parishioners and neighbors can bring dogs, cats, reptiles, fish, birds and hamsters to be blessed. All types of companion animals are welcome, either on leash on in a cage or carrier. Owners also can bring a photo of their pet. For more information, call (714) 523-8688, or (562) 947-0394. Donations sought for Marines NORWALK – The sheriff’s Norwalk Station is currently collecting a variety of goods for U.S. Marines. Donations can be turned in at the Norwalk Station, 12335 Civic Center Drive, through Nov. 11. Everything from hot chocolate packets, beef jerky, non-chocolate candy, gum, disposable cameras, razors, baby wipes, sweaters, crayons and jump ropes, among other items, are being collected for the donation drive. For more information, call (562) 863-8711, or (562) 944-6072. Event to benefit local veterans SANTA FE SPRINGS – VFW Post 3752, 11912 Rivera Road, invites everyone to a fish-fry dinner at 5:30 p.m. 8 p.m. Friday. Dinners start at $6. All the proceeds help local veterans. For more information, call (526) 698-9059. College event to feature writers WHITTIER – Maxine Hong Kingston, Gerald Stern, Frank Gaspar and Christopher Buckley will be among the scribes showcased at the second annual Whittier College Writers Festival from Oct. 2 to 4. The event will be held in the Founders Room at the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts, 6760 Painter Ave. Admission is $6 for one day, $10 for a two-day pass and $15 for a three-day pass. Readings from memoirs, poems and novels will be followed by question-and- answer sessions with all the writers. For more information, call (562) 907-4203, or visit www.shannoncenter.org. – From staff reports160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Car wash to raise funds for Scouts MONTEBELLO – The Montebello Elks Club will hold a car wash and breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday to raise money for local Boy Scout troops and Cub Scouts packs. Cost is $6 for a full breakfast and $5 for a car wash. SUVs and trucks are extra. For more information, call 323-8506. La Leche League to meet Tuesday WHITTIER – The Whittier Adult School will hold piano classes from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursdays, beginning today. Students will learn to play jazz interpretive technique and classical methods. The cost is $35 for the 10-week class. For more information, call (562) 698-8121, Ext. 1300. center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillipslast_img read more