Murray wins Wimbledon opener under floodlights

Andy Murray won the Wimbledon men’s singles title in 2013 and 2016 before being beset by injury problems
Venue: All England Club Dates: 27 June-10 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.

Britain’s Andy Murray maintained his record of never losing in the first round at Wimbledon with an encouraging win over Australia’s James Duckworth.

After a slow start, likely a result of a recent abdominal injury, Murray found rhythm and his quality shone through.

The former world number one, now ranked 52nd, won 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 at 21:35 BST under the floodlights on Centre Court.

The 35-year-old Scot will now face big-serving American John Isner, seeded 20th, in the second round on Wednesday.

“It is amazing to be back out here again with a full crowd,” said Murray, a two-time Wimbledon champion.

“I’m getting on a bit now so I don’t know how many opportunities I will get here.

“I’m pleased I managed to get through and hopefully I will get another match here on Centre in a couple of days.”

Murray allays injury concerns in encouraging performance

Questions had been raised all week about Murray’s fitness and he answered with more than a hint of doubt last Monday when revealing he had not been able to hit specific shots – thought to be the serve.

An abdominal injury picked up in the Stuttgart final earlier this month had stalled his progress in an encouraging grass-court season and prevented him from playing at Queen’s Club.

But as the week went on, and he was seen in practice sessions at Wimbledon hitting serves, it seemed clear he would be fine to return to the scene of his finest triumphs.

Of course, the intensity of a match is a different circumstance to practice and it took a little while for him to find his rhythm with his serve.

But once he did, Murray looked completely at ease against world number 74 Duckworth.

While it was not quite vintage Murray, there were lots of moments of quality to keep the enthusiastic home crowd entertained in an encouraging performance.

There was even opportunity for Murray to throw in an underarm serve – rarely seen, if ever, during his career – in the third set to bring laughter from the fans.

But the main takeaway for those who stayed late was the 2013 and 2016 champion, a dangerous unseeded floater in the draw, looks fit enough to cause problems for more opponents this fortnight.

More to follow.

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