Murray’s majesty sees off Gulbis
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:36
Murray took just one hour and 28 minutes to defeat Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis 6-2 7-5 6-3 to take his place in the third round.
The Queen would have appreciated his flag waving, just as Murray admitted he was more than a little surprised to receive the royal note. “You don’t get that every day,” said Murray. “So yeah it was surprising.” What did the note say? “Just well done for winning at Queen’s and good luck here was the gist of it.”
So complete was the demolition that the British fans almost appeared stunned by its ruthlessness. The Centre Court crowd are used to fretting over five-set, late-night roller-coasters with Tim Henman. Accustomed to taking their tennis with emotion and a liberal sprinkling of tension.
They are not used to British tennis players dispatching lesser lights of the world game in the fashion normally reserved for Roger Federer.
But that is what Murray did against Gulbis on an afternoon when he made just five unforced errors and was left flying a lone flag for Great Britain in the Wimbledon singles after Elena Baltacha joined the rest of the home failures with a miserably timid defeat against Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens.
“I played well,” said Murray with some understatement. “Served really good for the whole match. Apart from the first game when he had a couple of chances on my serve I didn’t give him another break point. It was much better than my first match. It was very solid.
“I had a few nerves and tension in the first match but I was a bit more relaxed and it was good. If I serve like that for the rest of the tournament I’ll have a good chance.”
This was quite possibly his finest performance in SW19. It was certainly his most mature, although he believes there is more to come.
“You can always do things better,” said Murray. “I played great but I played (Radek) Stepanek the first year I played here and I won in three sets. That was a great match. Last year I played some tough matches as well where I dealt with the tight situations well. It was a different match. He had few chances so there weren’t that many nerves and huge points.”