“The atmosphere was brilliant,” the Scot said after battling alongside France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert from a set down to claim victory in the first round of the men’s doubles. Murray revealed he experienced no pain during the two-hour-28-minute match following career-saving surgery on his hip.
“I felt nothing,” he said. “Why should I? Nothing to hurt there anymore. My hip’s metal now!”
The Auld Alliance duo defeated Herbert’s countryman Ugo Humbert and Marius Copil of Romania 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 and tonight Murray makes his entrance in mixed doubles, teaming up with Serena Williams.
Murray admitted he felt nervous at the start of the match but added that this was normal.
He said: “Nerves are a good thing, I like that.
“I like feeling the pressure because it shows that you care and you want to do well. The match was tough in the beginning but as it wore on we became more comfortable with each other on the court and started to read each other’s game a bit better and things happened naturally, which is what you want in doubles.”
Herbert added: “We stayed together after losing the first set and didn’t panic so we’re really happy.”
Elite men’s tennis – the singles – brings great rewards but also great stress and, latterly for Murray, great pain. So, had this match been more enjoyable than some in the past?
“Definitely more than 2017. But every time I’m on court now it’s great. I’m just playing tennis again. I’m pain-free and healthy and it’s nice. Tennis is what I’ve enjoyed doing since I was a kid. At times over the last few years I wasn’t getting any enjoyment out of it.”
Murray also gave an update on his ambition to play singles. He said: “I’ve thought about that and there have been discussions with my team. Hopefully it’s not too far in the future. Right now I’m concentrating on doubles and trying to do my best. Winning is nice but it’s maybe not the most important thing, which maybe it used to be.”
Asked what he thought of mum Judy’s decision to watch brother Jamie’s doubles match (suspended due to bad light), instead of his, he smiled: “Jamie’s the number one son. He got all the best presents while I had to make do with hand-me-downs!”