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Murray wins Queen’s opener

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Originally published on 11/06/14

In his first match under the guidance of the former Wimbledon champion, Murray enjoyed a seamless transition from the clay to the grass as he defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4 6-4 to reach the third round at the Aegon Championships.

A three-time champion at The Queen's Club, Murray, who has won five titles on grass in his career, extended his unbeaten streak on grass to 19 matches – he has won three titles since his last defeat on the surface when he lost the Wimbledon final to Roger Federer two years ago.

A three-time champion at Queen’s, Murray improved his record against Mathieu to six wins from six as he claimed a single break in each set to wrap up victory in 87 minutes.

“It's different having a different coach, obviously,” said Murray, who announced the appointment of Mauresmo as his new coach following his semi-final defeat to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.  “You know, any time you start new with anyone it's obviously going to be slightly different.

“We spoke a bit about the match and the tactics and then chatted a little bit afterwards.   But this week there's not going to be any big changes in my game.  I also wouldn't expect any before Wimbledon.

“But we'll definitely work on some things after the tournament is finished here.  We will chat about the stuff that I will be working on over the next few days, and then when I get the chance to after the tournament is finished here, I'll get four or five days of practice where I can work on some things.”

Murray, who revealed that he would expect Mauresmo to travel with him more frequently than former coach Ivan Lendl did should the appointment become permanent, says he will sit down with his team to discuss Mauresmo’s impact after the end of the grass-court season.

“With most of the coaching decisions that I've had, like with anything, there is a trial period, and it's up to me to make a decision on who that person is and whether or not,” he said. “If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but I'll sit down with the guys after I'm finished at Wimbledon and see whether or not, you know, we think it has been a good few weeks and whether we think it's something that will work long term.

“If everything is going well, obviously [I’ll] chat with Amelie, too, because, you know, it's not just me that makes the decision.  If Amelie hates working with me and finds it very difficult being around me, then she won't want to do it either.”

Murray’s next opponent is world No.42 Radek Stepanek in the third round after the Czech defeated Bernard Tomic 7-6(4) 7-6(5). Murray has won five of their previous six encounters, and their only previous match on grass, at Wimbledon in 2005, when as a 18-year-old ranked No. 312 in the world, Murray upset the then world No.13 in straight sets.

“He is a great grass court player,” said Stepanek, whose only victory against Murray came at the 2009 Paris Masters. “Playing him on Centre Court here at Queen’s Club tournament, which has incredible history, will definitely be a great challenge for me. I know that it’s a tough task and I will come out and perform as best I can.”

Meanwhile, top seed Stanislas Wawrinka progressed to the third round following the retirement of Marcos Baghdatis. In his first match as a top-ten player, French Open semi-finalist Ernests Gulbis lost 7-6(3) 7-5 to Kenny De Schepper, while No.10 seed Feliciano Lopez did not face a single break point as he ousted four-time champion Lleyton Hewitt 6-3 6-4.

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