Andy Murray is through to the second round after defeating Alexander Bublik in straight sets. Here’s everything you need to know about the match.
Murray had to get warmed up
Thanks to a combination of poor form and injury, the reigning champion hasn’t played as much tennis as he would have liked in the build up and it showed during the early exchanges against an opponent ranked 134th in the world, who had two break points in the opening game. When Bublik was able to get Murray scarpering around the court there were signs of discomfort in the Scot, though he soon got warmed up and began to dominate the match.
The injury definitely hasn’t fully healed
Murray insists he’s in no pain whatsoever. This may be the case, but we could see from the Scot’s limping between points that his hip injury is not fully healed. In fairness to him, once he began to dominate proceedings, the limp was only really visible during breaks in play. We now wait to see whether the two days of rest has any adverse effects, or whether it quickens his recovery.
Always beware of rain
The forecast indicated very little chance of precipitation, and yet we had not one but two delays on Centre Court, the second of which pushed the two competitors into the dressing rooms for over 30 minutes. It just goes to show - in Britain, there’s no such thing as zero chance of rain.
Bublik is a character
Those were the words of Murray himself when he revealed the two opponents had a good chat during the rain delay. Most players, especially at such a prestigious and intense competition as Wimbledon, prepare to keep to themselves and stay completely focused during any delays, especially when (as Bublik was) they are playing the biggest match of their career. Instead, the Kazakhstan-based Russian with an American accent joked about the number of double faults in the match.
Bublik has talent
Murray made relatively easy work of his opponent over the three sets, but there was enough from the 20-year-old to indicate he may have a bright future in the game. The talent is there, he just needs to work on the consistency of his shots and, more importantly, his shot selection. He loved hitting a sliced forehand drop-shot from the baseline, despite the fact it rarely worked. As Boris Becker put it in commentary: “if I was his coach I’d be going crazy and fine him €10 every time he played that shot”.