Murray opens with win while Matosevic downs Verdasco
Originally published on 23/06/14
The defending champion was welcomed onto court with a standing ovation but didn't seem to be overcome by the occasion as he swept past Goffin 6-1 6-4 7-5 in just over two hours. Watched by his grandparents and father from the Royal Box, and his mother Judy and new coach Amelie Mauresmo nearby, Murray was rarely troubled by the world No.105 as he powered through the first two sets. Goffin spurned his only two break points in the third set and Murray took advantage to wrap up victory with an ace.
"I thought it was a very high standard match," said Murray. "I was glad to finish it in three. Sometimes you can win in three sets and not play that well, but I'm pleased with the way I struck the ball. I was nervous this morning and I was nervous last night, but once you sit down on the chair it's time to get on with this year."
It was Murray’s 450th career win and he will next face Slovenian Blaz Rola after he won in straight sets against Pablo Andujar. Rola, playing in just his second Grand Slam, needed less time than Murray to see off his Spanish opponent and is looking forward to challenging himself against the third seed.
“When I saw the draw, when I saw that potentially I can play the second round against Andy, my motivation was off the charts,” said Rola. “It helped me a lot in this first game. I'm very happy that I actually get a chance to play him, especially here.
“I have never really played any big events. I think the biggest was two, three weeks ago in Queen's against James [Ward]. So I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I've played for a year being an underdog almost all the time. So I think I thrive on that. A lot of opponents don't expect what's coming, that's going to be my advantage not for very long. But I think that's a good thing.”
There was not such good news for two other Brits on Monday as James Ward was beaten 6-2 6-2 6-1 by Mikhail Youzhny and Dan Cox lost 6-2 7-6(3) 6-7(8) 6-3 to Jeremy Chardy.
Top seed Novak Djokovic showed no signs of any problems with his wrist as he recorded an emphatic opening win over Andrey Golubev on Centre Court. Djokovic pulled out of an exhibition match at The Boodles last week with a 'niggle' but was in fine form as he wrapped up a 6-0 6-1 6-4 victory – winning the first 11 games without reply.
Marinko Matosevic continued his strong grass-court form by toppling No.18 seed Fernando Verdasco. The Australian, a finalist in Nottingham and quarter-finalist at Queen’s, overcame the Spaniard 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-2 to make the second round at SW19 for the first time.
"It was 4-3 in the third set, I had two break points and didn't make them. Then he broke my serve and won the third set. That really hurt me," said Verdasco. "He started the fourth playing much looser and took advantage. I couldn't come back. Of course, I didn't play my best tennis."
Former Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych fought back to beat Victor Hanescu 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 6-3 while No.12 seed Ernests Gulbis struck 22 aces to beat Jurgen Zopp 7-6(7) 7-5 7-6(10). The Latvian will face Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round after he beat Carlos Berlocq 6-3 6-3 6-3.
Aegon Championships winner Grigor Dimitrov also advanced with a 7-6(1) 6-3 6-2 victory over Ryan Harrison. "It was a great feeling to be out there and it was a great day to be out there and I'm happy to start that way," said the No.11 seed. "It is a good start and I am looking forward to the next round. Winning at Queen's has given me confidence and recently my form has been good but this is a different tournament."
Bernard Tomic reached the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time this year after easing past Evgeny Donskoy 6-4 6-3 6-2 while Marcos Baghdatis won an entertaining contest against Dustin Brown 6-4 7-5 2-6 7-6(4).