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Murray fit enough for Wimbledon show; TENNIS.

ANDREW MURRAY will head to Wimbledon in high spirits despite being forced out of this week's 10tele.com Open in Nottingham.

The 18-year-old Scot needed two extra days to fully recover from the ankle injury he sustained in the Stella Artois Championships last week.

But Murray's wild card for the All England club is not believed to be in jeopardy after his withdrawal from his scheduled match today against Thomas Johansson.

A statement from Murray's representatives said: "Andrew Murray's ankle has not healed as quickly as he had hoped.

"The ligament in the ankle is still slightly inflamed and he has unfortunately had to withdraw from the 10tele.com Open in Nottingham. He will be fit for Wimbledon."

In the statement Murray, the reigning US Open junior champion, said: "I am very disappointed to miss the opportunity to play at Nottingham - I heard it's a great tournament.

"It was a close call but as there is a slight inflammation still in the ankle, I have been advised to limit my time on court for the next two days. I am really looking forward to playing at Wimbledon."

Coincidentally Murray suffered his injury against Johansson when he was two points away from victory in the final set last week but he made an impression by reaching the third round and beating former world top 30- ranked American Taylor Dent along the way.

Johansson - who faced Russian lucky loser Dmitry Tursunov today - said he was disappointed not to have been meeting Murray again.

"I am disappointed because he is a good player and a talented guy and I was looking forward to playing him again", he said.

"But it is not a bad idea. Last week was a tough week for him and he hurt his ankle. I think this is a good thing for his game so he can concentrate on Wimbledon."

Meanwhile Dent recovered from his defeat by Murray with a comfortable 6-3 6-3 win over German grass-court expert Alexander Popp.

And the American tipped Murray to make a big impression on his senior Wimbledon debut in front of his home-town fans.

Dent said: "Murray proved that he could turn out to be one hell of a player. He has room to grow and hopefully he will have the support of all the fans."

CAPTION(S):

LOOKING FORWARD: Andrew Murray
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 14, 2005
Words:390
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