British No. 1 Jo Konta hopes the comforts of home will bolster her Wimbledon hopes after a strong start to the clay court campaign … but Andy Murray faces setbacks on his comeback course after Madrid’s disapproval
- The UK’s No. 1 still hopes to stay in her own home at this year’s Wimbledon Championships
- She has only played one tournament since February due to Covid’s regulations
- Konta scored her best win since August in the opening round of the Madrid Open
- Andy Murray was omitted from the list of wildcard entries to the Madrid men’s event
Jo Konta holds on to the possibility that she will be able to stay in her own home during the Wimbledon period and save even more weeks in the bubble.
The UK’s No. 1, who lives in South West London between the official hotel and the All England Club, has already tried to cut down on the time she spends in tournaments under restrictions.
Konta, who took her best win since August in the opening round of the Madrid Open on Thursday, withdrew from the WTA event in Stuttgart this month due to general concerns about Covid.
Jo Konta scored her best win since August in the opening round of the Madrid Open
Wimbledon confirmed this week that all of its competitors must remain in a bubble, even residents of London, but hopes the policy can be reversed by the end of June.
“I’m still hopeful that that can change, so I’m just waiting for that hope,” she said after beating world champion No. 30 Yulia Putintseva 6-4, 6-2.
All I know is that when there are announcements, they always say it is subject to change according to government guidelines at the time. I have hope, but I am also prepared for the other possibility. ‘
She admitted that she’s intentionally only played one tournament since traveling to Australia in February due to the stifling nature of the current regulations: ‘I think it’s a combination, more the logistical side of it, the sense of how much stress I’m prepared to carry. how I feel about the environment in which I go.
“It’s very different to play at these events compared to what used to be normal and so it’s about managing where I feel I can put myself there.”
Konta has only played one tournament since February due to stifling Covid regulations
This week’s Masters event in Madrid is another that takes place without Andy Murray, whose comeback options seem to narrow after being dropped from the latest list of wildcard entries to the Spanish capital’s men’s event starting this weekend.
Murray, who trained on clay in London, won the Madrid title in 2015.
Neither the tournament nor his management would say whether he had applied for a wildcard and was declined.
It is still unclear exactly how fit he is after his late withdrawal from the Miami Open in late March, although he is known to have hit with British player Anton Matusevich at Roehampton.
Andy Murray’s comeback options seem to be shrinking after he is denied entry to Madrid
It’s also far from guaranteed that – even if he’s in full health – he’ll receive a wildcard to the French Open at the end of May, and this week he formally entered his name for the qualifying tournament.
Against Murray is the general uncertainty about his condition and his heavy loss on clay in Paris against Stan Wawrinka when he got a wildcard there in October. The Tournament Directors are also aware that he is increasingly accepting wildcards before returning them late in the day, either as a result of an injury or a change of mind.
It’s a difficult situation for the 33-year-old Scot, who has worked tirelessly to try to get himself in optimal shape despite a metal hip.
One course of action would be to write off the entire current clay court swing and focus on returning to the grass courts during the second week of Roland Garros in early June, with the option of kicking off in a Challenger-level tournament in Nottingham or the ATP event in Stuttgart.