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First clash on grass

Murray wary of threat posed by Fognini

Andy Murray
Andy Murray: test (Photo: SNS Group).

Andy Murray will play Italian Fabio Fognini for the first time on grass tomorrow as the defending Wimbledon champion attempts to book his place in the last 16.

The Scot takes on the clay-court specialist after easing past German Dustin Brown in straight sets.

Murray and Fognini are 3-3 in their head-to-head and the world No. 1 is bracing himself for a tough test against the 28th seed, who defeated him in Rome a couple of months ago.

“I think he’s always dangerous,” Murray said. “He’s a shot-maker and he’s very solid off his forehand and backhand side, but he can also hit winners from both sides. A lot of guys maybe have a big forehand and are maybe more consistent on the opposite wing. Whereas Fabio can hit winners off both sides. He has good hands up at the net.

“I don’t think I have ever played against him on grass. He moves extremely well on the other surfaces. I don’t know how well he moves on the grass. I haven’t played him on it, but he certainly can play well.

“I expect it to be very tough. When Fabio is switched on, he’s really, really tough to beat.”

The Italian is aware the Wimbledon surface will favour his opponent, although he remains confident.

“I think I have the game to play against him,” he said. “Of course, it’s Wimbledon. It’s home for him and it’s the best-of-five.

“He’s the defending champion. So it’s going to be really tough, for sure.

“Hopefully I can play my best tennis and try to complicate his life on court. If I have the chance, I will try and take it.”

Murray was one of four Britons to make it through to the third round for the first time in 20 years, with Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Aljaz Bedene hoping to see Kyle Edmund join them when he takes on Gael Monfils today.

Konta meets Greece’s Maria Sakkari in Friday’s round three, while Watson plays Victoria Azarenka, who is in her first Grand Slam since taking a year off to have a baby. Bedene is up against Luxembourg’s veteran Gilles Muller.

Meanwhile, Jamie Murray will partner Switzerland’s Martina Hingis in the mixed doubles.

The duo have been made top seeds and have been handed a bye into the second round.

Murray was in the winning mixed doubles pair at Wimbledon in 2007 when he and Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic took the honours.

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