By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Andy Murray  def. Alexander Bublik 6-1 6-4 6-2
- Murray v Dustin Brown | H2H: Murray leads 1-0
LONDON, UK – Andy Murray successfully started his Wimbledon title defence against the entertaining Alexander Bublik, and expects more of the same from Dustin Brown.
Andy Murray  def. Alexander Bublik 6-1 6-4 6-2
With all eyes on Andy Murray‘s dicky hip, there is no doubt there were a few hearts a flutter as Alexander Bublik jauntily opened his account with a couple of break points on the opening Murray serve. Surely we were not going to be subjected to the same baffling play we had seen in the run up to the French Open and at Queen’s?
No, we were not. When Murray said he was ready to play, he was not kidding. Holding his first service game, he picked up the pace forcing Bublik to go for more. The entertaining Kazakh responded, but the errors started to flow as he effectively broke himself to give Murray an easy lead, turning the screw for a double break cushion. Murray banged out a service game to love to wrap up the first set in just 30 minutes.
By now though the crowd were warming to the colourful character at the other end of the net, chasing everything down and engaging virtually racquet to racquet at the net, with Murray throwing in lobs and droppers, mostly efficiently.
Looking like he was enjoying himself, Bublik made the second set a far closer affair, with just the merest hint of a wobble while serving for the second set as Murray first fended off three break points before sealing the second set.
Dare we say it there may have also been an element of an eye on the weather. Having walked out on to a court bathed in sunlight, the clouds decided to settle in over the top of Centre Court. Maybe that started to affect the sunshine boy, who started the third set with three double faults.
As a fine mist of rain started to fall, the players were held on court before the ground-staff did their thing and cleared the court. It was a little frustrating for the players who then came back on and then off, and then on again.
Even the rain-break couldn’t save Bublik, and although he more than played his part in a very entertaining match, it was a straight sets canter for Murray, who thankfully seemed in no way inhibited.
Murray said, after the match: “I played pretty good. Moved quite well. I mean, it’s not the easiest match to play because of the way he plays. There’s not loads of rhythm. He’s kind of doing different stuff on each point. I mean, he served some huge, huge serves on first and second serves. He was hitting some 130- mile-an-hour second serves, which you don’t really see much these days.
“I was a bit nervous this morning. I hadn’t been able to do as much as I would have liked in the build-up. Didn’t know the guy I was playing. Obviously, first match at a slam, there’s always a few extra nerves. Once I got out there and got the early break, saved a few breakpoints my first service game, I felt good. I moved well. So for a first match, considering how I was feeling five, six days ago, it was really positive.”
Murray v Dustin Brown | H2H: Murray leads 1-0
He will face Dustin Brown in the second round – another unorthodox player who he had the measure of at the US Open in 2010.
Murray continued: “Today’s match is similar. He plays a similar way in terms of being pretty unpredictable, going for different shots. You know, a lot of power. Dustin plays a lot more up at the net than Bublik.
“Certainly to watch, for anyone watching, he tends to come out with some great shots. Very entertaining guy to watch. He’s a great mover. Really, really good athlete. He’s a good personality, as well. Always fun, fun guy to watch.
“I know Dustin pretty well. We get on well with each other. We message each other from time to time. I like him. He’s really, really a nice guy.
“But in terms of the match, I expect him to be very aggressive. I think he’ll go for his shots. I think he’ll come forward a lot. You know, he’s unpredictable. You know he’s going to go for it. Also you know he hits a lot of drop-shots. He can play slice. Sometimes he hits two first serves, goes for a huge second serve. It’s not easy to play players like that.
“He’s obviously had a big win here in the past against Rafa. Whether he respects me or not, I’m going to go out on the court, you know, expecting to play great tennis, give it a good shot. I’ll need to be ready.”
Much like Bublik he possesses a natural sense of flair and entertainment, and you are never quite sure what is going to come at you in terms of pace and type of ball. It might just be the kind of match Murray needs to put his hip through the motions all around the court, and we can expect similar variety.
Prediction: Murray in straight sets.
Murray and Brown are scheduled to play their second round match on Wednesday.
|Who is Murray playing?||Dustin Brown|
|Head to Head?||Murray leads 1-0|
|What time is Murray playing & where?||Centre Court, not before 2:30pm BST|
|Where/How to watch Murray’s match?||BBC & Eurosport | Tennis on UK TV|
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