By Niall Clarke
- Murray defeats Mikhail Kukushkin on centre court
- The Brit pulls through in straight sets 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4
- Murray will play Robin Haase in the second round on Thurday.
Andy Murray was made to work, but ultimately pulled through in straight sets against Mikhail Kukushkin in his Wimbledon opener.
The British number one needed two hours and sixteen minutes to knock off his Kazakh opponent, and he will now turn his attentions to Robin Haase in the second round.
The ever dangerous Kukushkin stayed tight with Murray until the end of the first set. The third seed applied pressure on the Kazakh’s serve and was rewarded on the third set point to take it six games to four.
With the momentum firmly on his side, Murray broke early in the second set. However his lead did not last long as the set started swing in different directions. Neither player could find the consistency they were looking for, meaning there was a total of six breaks. That is including a break at 5-5 which allowed Kukushkin to serve for the set, but the 27 year old could not serve it out.
Murray took control in the tiebreak, including hitting a very good forehand winner off a Kukushkin drop shot. The Brit raced into a 6-1 lead but could not serve it out, leaving him to do it successfully on the Kukushkin serve.
With a two set lead Murray could all but see the finishing line, and he inched ever closer with a break at 2-2. The world number three has his troubles serving it out, but after saving two break points he took the first match point with an unreturnable serve.
It was a testing match for Murray who had to find a way to deal with the aggressive power game that Kukushkin brings.
Murray’s quest for a second Wimbledon title will continue on Thursday when he plays talented Dutchman Haase. He needed four sets to see of qualifier Alejandro Falla.
For now the British number one will have a day’s rest before taking to court once again. Maybe he will be able to catch Liam Broady in action tomorrow.
Murray will play Haase on Thursday. You can follow his progress on Britwatchsports.com