Andy Murray strolls to Wimbledon win over Liam Broady
There were no first-round dramas for Andy Murray as he eased past countryman Liam Broady to open his Wimbledon campaign.
After being taken to five sets in his first two matches at the French Open, Murray needed just an hour and 43 minutes to defeat 22-year-old wild card Broady 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.
The 2013 champion will hope for more of the same from his next match on Thursday against Chinese Taipei’s Lu Yen-hsun.
Murray made a swift start to his Wimbledon campaign by taking the opening set 6-2 in just 25 minutes.
This was the Scot’s first match against a fellow British player at a grand slam, and the first involving two British players since Tim Henman beat Greg Rusedski in the first round of the US Open a decade ago.
It was a huge occasion for 22-year-old Broady, who made Marcus Willis-style headlines on day one last year when he came from two sets down to defeat Marinko Matosevic.
He has practised a few times with Murray and admitted the first time he was so nervous he struggled to put the ball in the court.
Broady soon found out why the world No 2 is such a formidable opponent, winning just one point in the first three games before getting on the board, no doubt much to his relief.
Murray was desperate to avoid the slow start he made at the French Open, when he had to battle back from two sets down against Radek Stepanek.
He was taken to five sets again in the second round by wild card Mathias Bourgue in Paris and the energy expended may well have caught up with him in his final loss to Novak Djokovic.
Coach Ivan Lendl, back in his box for the first time at a grand slam, would therefore have been very happy to see Murray keep his foot down and break serve again to clinch the set.
Blustery conditions on Centre Court were not making it easy for either player, with Broady struggling to time his forehand.
The wild card was being watched from the player box by his sister Naomi, the British No 3, who lost to Elina Svitolina on Monday.
It looked very much like Liam was heading the same way when he double-faulted to trail 3-1 in the second set.
The Broady family have been split down the middle ever since Liam decided in 2012 to accept help from the Lawn Tennis Association against the wishes of his father Simon.
Neither player had had anything to do with the governing body since Naomi was disciplined in 2007 after a picture of her in a nightclub was published on social media.
But Liam has now parted ways with the LTA again, although amicably this time, in order to try to repair his relationship with his father, which he admitted is still “frosty”.
He was getting a warm reception from the Centre Court crowd and he pumped his fist to a great cheer after finishing a fine point with a forehand winner.
But a game later, and with 56 minutes on the clock, Murray wrapped up the set 6-3.
This was a stroll on the lawns for Murray and he jogged back to his chair after breaking serve again at the start of the third set.
Broady battled manfully to hold onto his serve in the fifth game - the first time he had managed to save break points - and it paid off in the next game.
The underdog created two break points, his first of the match, but Murray raised himself from the second gear he had purred along in for most of the match to keep his advantage.
Broady was doing a good job of hanging around, to Murray’s frustration, but breaking the Scot’s serve proved to be beyond him as the second seed progressed comfortably to round two.