Wimbledon: Andy Murray Begins Title Defence With A Win
Tennis

Wimbledon: Andy Murray Begins Title Defence With A Win

Britain’s Sir Andy Murray has successfully began the defence of his Wimbledon title with a straight-set win over Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik on Centre Court.

The Scot won 6-1 6-4 6-2, despite a hip injury which disrupted his build-up.

Murray, the world number one, hit 29 winners and maintained his form either side of a rain break in the third set to win in one hour and 44 minutes.

The 30-year-old will face Germany’s Dustin Brown – the man who beat Rafael Nadal in 2015 – in round two.

Murray is trying to match fellow Briton Fred Perry as a three-time singles champion and claim his fourth Grand Slam title.

He also faces a battle with Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka to keep hold of his number one ranking.

The Scot lost in the first round at Queen’s Club two weeks ago, and then picked up the hip injury which forced him to withdraw from two exhibition matches and curtail his practice.

Murray declared himself fit over the weekend and had the honour of opening play on Centre Court as the defending champion, but there were still signs of discomfort between points against Bublik.

A modest average service speed of 113mph suggested he was taking things carefully, but 29 winners at the net showed Murray was still able to move forward when necessary.

“With the adrenaline, it helps numb some pain that you might have and I moved well today,” Murray told BBC Sport.

“I thought I did pretty well for the first match.”

A rain delay threatened to disrupt his rhythm, but with the roof kept open he returned to win four of the next six games and seal a comfortable victory.

“I wasn’t thinking about the rain too much. I felt comfortable underfoot today,” said Murray.

“The first few days normally the court is a bit lush and can be a bit slippy, but I didn’t feel like I was losing my footing at all.”

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