Andy Murray returned to the green grass of home with a hard fought 6-3 5-7 6-3 win over Xavier Malisse.
The British number one took to the court sporting two ankle braces, but his movement seemed unhindered, and subsequently, the seemingly difficult adjustment from high bouncing clay, to the lush low bouncing grass looked rather easy.
In a day session peppered with rain delays, Murray arrived on court around 4PM, and raced to a 3-1 lead before the clouds parted. After a delay of approximately forty-five minutes, Malisse and Murray returned, and the Scot motored to the first set. Murray, quite simply, looks at home on the surface. His first serve skids through the court, his anticipation and movement is supreme, and his ability to counterpunch, and make the transition from defence to attack shines through. For an athlete who is nursing an injury, he was producing some excellent tennis at times.Read more (231 words)
Malisse, to his credit, showed nice touches, and glimpses of classy shotmaking ability that carried him to the semi finals of Wimbledon back in 2002. The Belgian was content to engage in the cat and mouse points that his opponent so famously loves, but more often than not, emerged as the loser of the tactical duels. However, he found his service rhythm immediately at the start of the second set, and both players held convincingly until 5-5.
Murray pounced, forcing Malisse to play some awkward balls, and the 30 year old did extremely well to save three break points. Buoyed by his valiant efforts, Malisse took advantage of a slack Murray service game to steal the second set.
The second seed picked up his level in the third set, and broke early on to establish a lead. One formidable hurdle was overcome in game number six, where Murray saved two break points and held. Surviving the scare galvanised Murray and from that point onwards, his tennis tightened up, sufficiently enough for the win.
Awaiting Murray in round three is Janko Tipsarevic. The Serb is a talented player, and sporting his sunglasses and Dostoyevsky tattoos, a rather cool customer. Tipsarevic has reached the second week of Wimbledon on two occasions and beat Murray at Queens back in 2006. However, comparisons between the Murray of then, and the Murray of now, seem futile.