INJURED Eastbourne champion Dmitry Tursunov has vowed to play at Wimbledon – even if he is on crutches.

The winner of the inaugural men’s event at the AEGON International suffered further problems with his left ankle towards the end of a routine 6-3, 7-6 victory in Saturday’s final against Canadian qualifier Frank Dancevic.

Tursunov had surgery last month to remove large bone spurs from the ankle. Now the American-based Russian has tendon trouble, which he believes has been caused by over-compensating.

“I’m glad that I won the tie-break, because it wasn’t looking good for the third set,” he said. “I can’t really change direction.

“It doesn’t really feel good but nowadays there are enough painkillers that you can really wipe it out or take down the inflammation.

“I’m going to definitely try to play, unless I’m on crutches. Even then I might try to come out. They don’t bother you that much out on court 18!”

That mischievous reference to his lack of star appeal is typical of Tursunov’s witty sense of humour.

He has performed consistently at Wimbledon in the past, reaching at least the third round stage in each of the last five years but never progressing beyond the last 16.

The world No. 27, seeded 25 at Wimbledon, joked: “I’ve also consistently been fined there a lot, so I have the motivation to do well. I need more money to cover my fines.

“I’ve been saying for the last few years grass is a very strange surface. It doesn’t really feel comfortable, even though I have been doing well on it.”

Tursunov is in the quarter of the draw now missing Rafael Nadal but he is not looking beyond a tricky first round match against German world No. 45 Mischa Zverev “He’s a very difficult opponent, probably one of the few serve-volleyers playing at the moment,” said Tursunov. “Grass is really a good surface for him.

“He had a couple of good wins in Halle and he is playing well and I think I need to really concentrate on that match.”

Tursunov heads for SW19 £43,000 richer following his Eastbourne success, which increased his season’s earnings to £200,000.

The 25-year-old, who moved to the States from Moscow when he was 12, has now won six titles in four different continents, although this was his first on grass.

One of them came against Dancevic in the final at Indianapolis two years ago, when the score was almost identical to his low-key and straightforward victory in 82 minutes on a chilly centre court on Saturday.

The crowd could not really get into the match, because underdog Dancevic never returned well enough to threaten Tursunov’s powerful serve.

One break was sufficient in the first set, which Tursonov sealed with a 140 mph delivery.

Dancevic was always under more pressure but Tursunov called for the trainer when he was 5-6 down in the second set and there was a lengthy delay while the ankle was heavily strapped.

He took an eventful tie-break 7-5 after Dancevic fought back from an overhit smash and a 5-2 deficit to bravely save the first of two match points in the longest rally of the match.

The Canadian could do little though about a spearing return from Tursonov into his feet and a half-volley into the top of the net ended matters.

Dancevic, ranked 126 after a modest year so far, pre-determined his tactics, which was puzzling.

He also appeared oblivious to Tursonov’s inhibited movement post-treatment, having used the time out called for the Russian's repairs to take a toilet break.

“I pretty much made a commitment before the match that I was just going to go for my shots from the beginning and go for my returns,” Dancevic said. “I missed a little bit more than I wanted to.

“I was always catching up the whole match. I was never on top or up a break. He was serving very well, which made it more difficult.

“I thought he played exceptionally well but I can’t really be that disappointed, coming through qualifying and ending up in the final.”

Dancevic also has the consolation of a runners-up cheque for £22,000 ahead of his first round clash at Wimbledon against Belgian Steve Darcis, in the same quarter of the draw as Roger Federer. Oh well.