Andy Murray sweeps into Wimbledon second round
Briton makes flying start in his bid for second title at All England club as world number two crushes wild card Liam Broady
Andy Murray made a flying start to his bid for a second Wimbledon title as the world number two crushed British wild card Liam Broady 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday.
Murray has lost successive grand slam finals to Novak Djokovic this year, but the 2013 Wimbledon champion believes he can end that frustrating run now he is reunited with coach Ivan Lendl after a two-year hiatus in their partnership.
After world number one Djokovic, the Wimbledon champion for the last two years, cruised past Britain’s James Ward to open his campaign on Monday, Murray was in equally ruthless mood 24 hours later.
The 29-year-old brushed aside compatriot Broady on Centre Court and will play Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun for a place in the last 32.
That could be a good omen for the two-time grand slam champion as he defeated the word number 76 en route to becoming the first British man to win Wimbledon for 77 years.
Murray, already in peak form on grass after winning a record fifth Queen’s Club crown, had never lost to a player ranked as low as Broady’s 235th spot and had won all 10 of his previous Wimbledon first round matches.
Under Lendl’s watchful eye, it took Murray only one hour and 42 minutes to extend that unblemished streak to 11.
“The first match is always tricky and it was pretty breezy out there at the beginning,” Murray said.
“We’ve practised together in the past. It’s not easy playing someone you know, so I did OK.”
In his first match against a fellow Briton at a grand slam – and in the first Wimbledon clash between British men since 2001, Murray wasted little time establishing his supremacy.
Keen to avoid a repeat of the gruelling matches at the start of the recent French Open that left him exhausted by the time he lost the final against Djokovic, Murray swept through the first set.
Broady hails from Stockport, birthplace of the great Fred Perry, but the similarities with the former Wimbledon champion end there.
The 22-year-old, with only one grand slam match win to his credit, was completely outclassed and Murray finished off his Davis Cup teammate in business-like manner.
Also reaching the second round with straight-set wins were seeded Frenchmen Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
No 7 Gasquet swept past Britain’s Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, while No 12 Tsonga got past Spain’s Inigo Cervantes 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. Gasquet reached the Wimbledon semi-finals last year, while Tsonga made it to the semis in 2011 and 2012.
No 15 Nick Kyrgios kept his cool – and hit another between-the-legs winner – as he beat 37-year-old Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (11-9), 6-1.
The 21-year-old Australian was broken while serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set, and squandered two match points in the tiebreaker.
He was also warned for an audible obscenity, but otherwise kept on his best behaviour and settled down to dominate the fourth set.
“A couple years ago, if I get broken there, I’m probably going to end up losing the match,” Kyrgios said. “It’s just maturity.”
The highlight of the match came when Kyrgios hit a between-the-legs “tweener” from behind the baseline that sailed over Stepanek’s head at the net and dropped in for a perfect lob winner in the opening game of the third set.
It was reminiscent of the tweener he hit for a winning drop shot in his upset victory over Rafael Nadal two years ago.
Kyrgios set up an intriguing second-round match with Dustin Brown, another flashy shot-maker who beat Nadal here last year.