By Jake Davies
- Nick Kyrgios def. Andy Murray 2-6 7-6 (4) 7-5
- Kyle Edmund def. Ryan Harrison 7-6 (4) 6-4
- Dan Evans, Jay Clarke and Cameron Norrie out in the first round of Queen’s
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – Andy Murray‘s first match back from injury ended in defeat, but there was certainly some positive moments to hold on to as he looks to make a successful comeback.
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Nick Kyrgios def. Andy Murray 2-6 7-6 (4) 7-5
A lot was made about how Andy Murray would fare on his return to competitive tennis after eleven months since his last match at Wimbledon, where he lost out to Sam Querrey. Overall, there were some very promising signs that were noticeable in Murray’s game and there were some slightly worrying signs that are slight concerns moving forward.
All eyes were on Murray closely in the opening stages to see how is movement was, how his serve would hold up under scrutiny and how well he could truly compete after so long. The movement was the main talking point, though, as that is the most crucial part of Murray’s game and he has won three Grand Slam titles on the way he can scamper around the baseline, anticipate the next move in defence and turn defence into attack in one single move. So it was essential that the movement had improved since he last performed on centre stage.
It was mostly a very bizarre performance from Kyrgios, who served at a measly 13% on his second serve in the first set, which held him back completely against an unsure, tentative Murray still trying to find his feet and find his better game on a first match back. Kyrgios quickly took a break lead in the second set, but never truly looked convincing in the leading role as he seemingly was struggling himself with a hip problem that has hindered his progress a lot in the past and his intensity levels wavered that much that it was a tricky match for Murray to find a way through at times. The key stage of the match was the Australian being able to claim the tiebreak in the 2nd set as that truly tested how Murray would hold up physically in a first long match in quite some time.
Murray’s level tailed off a lot in the deciding set. Looking rusty and inconsistent in some points, while showing the same passion and desire in other points, which got the crowd on their feet, but he did tire quite a bit towards the end and served a double fault to concede the match in a disappointing way.
There were good indications of a return to form for Murray. His movement was better than it was when he played the Abu Dhabi exhibition at the beginning of the season, but it still felt quite a way away from where it needed to be to be challenging in best-of-five matches.
What are Murray’s Options?
As reported in Metro.co.uk, Murray will see how he recovers over the next few days before making a decision about competing at Wimbledon.
He said: “It’s something I need to speak to my team about, and also how I feel like tomorrow is relevant, as well, because if I wake up and I really don’t feel good tomorrow, then that’s obviously not a great sign for, you know, best-of-five set tennis at this stage.
“However, if I pull up and feel okay, then that’s a good sign. I mean, at the end of the match, I was certainly tired, but it wasn’t like I was completely off my feet and didn’t feel like I could move anymore and stuff. But, you know, potentially if it was a five-setter, that could have been another hour and a half of tennis and, you know, probably would have been difficult for
“So that’s something I’ll need to kind of assess over the next day or so, couple of days, and speak to my team a bit about, see where I go from here.”
He is not ruling out playing at Eastbourne or an exhibition match, potentially at the Hurlingham Club and we expect a decision in a couple of days. Potentially seeing Murray play an extra match in Eastbourne could give the Brit a clearer answer as to whether playing Wimbledon is the right choice after all.
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Kyle Edmund  defeats Ryan Harrison 7-6 (4) 6-4
The British No.1 Kyle Edmund made a slight slow start to his match against America’s Ryan Harrison but soon found his groove and played some of his better tennis on a grass court. Firstly he fell down an early break deficit, but once he got the break back he did not face one break point for the remainder of the match. He largely dictated play with his forehand side, but Harrison was not able to punch holes into Edmund’s backhand side as he maybe could have done twelve months prior to this match. Edmund now a much more well-rounded player and hopefully he will be looking to do some damage on the grass after a disappointing 2017 season on this surface.
Edmund v Kyrgios | H2H: First tour level meeting
Edmund gets to test his grass court credentials against Kyrgios in the second round. It will be their first at an ATP World Tour level, with Kyrgios having beaten him in a Challenger previously, and both players will clearly know a lot about each other’s games having been on tour for quite some time now. Kyrgios obviously has shown some concerns over his fitness, but the dangerous way to approach a match against the Australian is to underestimate the way he can serve his way through matches even when he is physically hampered. He can turn matches into a serving duel, which he so often comes out on top in. I think for Edmund to win he has to expect the unexpected with Kyrgios, but also try to build the points more to test out the hip of the Australian and possess a bit of a ruthless streak when coming into this match.
Prediction: Edmund in three sets
Evans, Clarke and Norrie out in the first round of Queen’s
There were three British casualties in the first round of Queen’s. Dan Evans was very up-and-down in his opening match against France’s Adrian Mannarino. The match was ultimately defined by Evans’ highs and lows over the course of the match and his unbelievable dip in level when serving for the match at 5-2 in the third set, before losing all of the next five games to lose the match, 6-4 0-6 7-5. Mannarino simply was the steadier and more patient of the two players in the important moments of the match.
Jay Clarke was competing in his first ATP match and was very much second best for all the match. The match was never really in his hands as Querrey really controlled proceedings from the baseline and never really allowed Clarke to gain any momentum during this two set affair.
Lastly, Cameron Norrie who lost to three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3. It was mostly a very poor day of serving from the Brit, who donated three games comfortably on serve and grew frustrated at the lack of time he was given on the much quicker grass courts.
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