Wimbledon: Andy Murray beats Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets

ANDY Murray admitted he was in a hurry to blow Nikolay Davydenko away as he began his latest Wimbledon campaign in considerable style yesterday, with a straight-sets victory on Centre Court, 6-1, 6-1, 6-4.

• Andy Murray takes just under an hour to defeat Russian Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets

• Scot showing determination to prove critics wrong

• Murray faces Ivo Karlovic or Dudi Sela in the second round

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It was a fitting response to those who have accused him of being a malingerer in recent weeks, with even Davydenko having made some injudicious comments shortly before receiving a taste of the punch Murray can pack when he is firing on all cylinders.

The Scot made only six unforced errors, all of them coming in the third set. The first two sets were a masterful statement of intent at the beginning of his seventh Wimbledon campaign. Davydenko, once a world No 3, only won nine points in the entire second set.

Murray was on at just before 6pm and off again at shortly after 7.30pm, just before the dark clouds began to empty their contents over SW19 again. This led to the second suspension of play for the day. The covers were never removed again.

Murray’s swift disposal of Daydenko meant that there was no need for the roof to be closed on Centre Court. The Scot pointed to the darkening sky at the end of his match in a prolonged gesture that inevitably became the focus of his after-match press conference. The meaning behind it remained a mystery as Murray chose to keep the reason for such a public show of emotion to himself and his backroom team. “It’s something for me and the guys I work with,” he said. “I don’t really want to go into too much detail because I will end up getting asked about it every single day.”

He was then asked whether it had anything to do with God? “Whether or not it is I am not going to tell anyone,” he replied, keeping his cards close to his chest.

He was rather more keen to reflect on his gameplan which was used to such telling effect against Davydenko, who suffered from the Scot’s desire to get his opening match over with as quickly as possible. “With the rain today, there was the chance that we might have to play under the roof and that there might be some stop/starting,” he said. “So once I was ahead, I really tried to keep it up. Once I had the momentum, I didn’t want it to stop because of the rain and having to put the roof on. Ideally, you don’t want to be going from outdoors to indoors.”

The identity of Murray’s opponent in the second round has still to be identified after the match between Ivo Karlovic and Dudi Sela was suspended last night due to the rain, with the former in control at two sets to love up. They were tied on one game each in the third set.

Murray had been raring to go yesterday after such a disappinting second round exit at Queen’s earlier this month. “It’s been a long couple of weeks,” he said. “There has been a lot of time on the practice court, a lot of talk about various things. I just wanted to go out and play.”

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“Because I did not do well at Queen’s, it has been a lot longer to get through all the practice days and the preparation, and all the other stuff that goes on in the weeks before Wimbledon.”

Included in the run-up had been some comments about the perceived tendency for Murray to exaggerate ailments. Virginia Wade made some well-reported comments to this effect during the French Open, while Tommy Haas and even Davydenko, Murray’s opponent yesterday, have had their say. The Scot looked in fine shape yesterday and admitted it was satisfying to prove some people wrong.

“If somebody doesn’t want you to do well, then it’s nice to play well,” he said. “Every week going into Wimbledon there is talk about all sorts of things. I haven’t heard anything that’s been said in the last few days. I just wanted to go out there and play well and not worry about the other stuff that goes on off the court at this time of year. I did a good job of that. It is time to let the tennis do the talking.”