Murray not hampered by hip as he brushes aside Bublik

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Andy Murray's Wimbledon defence began in straightforward fashion as he eased past Alexander Bublik 6-1 6-4 6-2 on Monday.

The world number one's preparation had been overshadowed by a hip injury which caused him discomfort during practice, but he showed few ill-effects when it came to the real deal in front of a partisan Centre Court crowd.

Bublik, who only took his place in the main draw as a lucky loser, attempted to take advantage of any reduced mobility on Murray's part by bringing him into the net on a consistent basis, but more often than not the reigning champion was equal to the task.

Following a shaky start, Murray reeled off five straight games to clinch the first set and although Bublik showed fight to stay in touch throughout the second, the home favourite took a commanding lead.

Only two rain delays due to light showers halted Murray's progress thereafter, the top seed cruising through to set up a second-round meeting with Dustin Brown, who came from behind to defeat Joao Sousa over four sets.

Perhaps conscious of his troublesome hip, Murray started sluggishly and was forced to save two break points in the opening game.

It was Bublik's turn to rescue a pair on his own serve in game four but back-to-back double faults handed Murray a third break point and the defending champion capitalised with a rasping forehand down the line.

The seemingly fearless Bublik showed some deft touches around the net but he was powerless to prevent Murray securing a second break with a simple forehand, the first set wrapped up in half an hour.

Unforced errors were beginning to creep into Bublik's game as Murray broke and then held to love to start the second and a remarkable pick up off his toes on the run drew applause from his young opponent in game five.

Bublik's signal for the crowd to get behind him had little effect as Murray held to love for 5-3 but there was fleeting encouragement as the champion had to dig deep to rescue three break points when serving for the set, secured with the help of a cross-court forehand winner from a seemingly impossible angle.

As in the second, Murray broke to open the third as Bublik double-faulted but, following the weather's unwelcome intervention, he only avoided being broken back by Bublik's careless forehand into the net.

With that missed chance went Bublik's last vestige of hope, Murray breaking for a fifth time in the match before serving out to wrap up a resounding success.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Murray [1] bt Bublik 6-1 6-4 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Murray - 29/10
Bublik - 33/35

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Murray - 3/2
Bublik - 15/12

BREAK POINTS WON
Murray - 5/12
Bublik - 0/6

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Murray - 58
Bublik - 64

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Murray - 77/74
Bublik - 67/29

TOTAL POINTS
Murray - 100
Bublik - 69