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Murray tastes victory again with win over Wawrinka
Andy Murray won his first match in almost a year with an emphatic 6-1, 6-3 win over Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka in the first round of the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne.
Like Murray, Wawrinka is also on the comeback trail following a persistent knee injury which required surgery and saw him out of action for months.
Building on his impressive play last week, this was another very encouraging performance by Murray.
The first set was near-flawless from the Brit. Although Wawrinka did well to stave off three break points in the fourth game with big shots, Murray’s characteristic agile defending frustrated him into error and the Scot took a 3-1 lead. An increasingly out-of-sorts Wawrinka was unable to find his range, and the errors mounted up as Murray broke again to take a 5-1 lead, sealing the set in the next game.
Wawrinka was beginning to play better to start the second set, but Murray did well to force errors off the ground and broke to take a 3-2 lead.
The Brit struggled in his next service games – he would later say that he felt nervous as he came close to winning the match. But he kept his focus to save three break points at 4-3 up, good play at the net helping to hold.
Having held, the pressure transferred to Wawrinka in the next game. The Swiss eventually succumbed with a double-fault, as Murray claimed his first match win since last July.
Murray will play fellow Brit, Kyle Edmund, in the second round on Wednesday.
Murray impresses on comeback despite defeat to Kyrgios
Andy Murray made a long-awaited return to competitive play at the Queen’s Club, losing a tight first-round encounter 6-2, 6-7(4-7), 7-5 to world number 21 Nick Kyrgios.
Murray last played at Wimbledon last year, a hip injury and eventual surgery forcing him out of action.
It was a very encouraging performance that saw Murray only narrowly lose to Kyrgios, and most importantly, he seemed to be moving well. His competitive spirit and dynamic shot selection were very much still on display, giving the packed home crowd plenty to cheer about.
Murray entered the court to huge applause and a standing ovation from the crowd, everyone eagerly anticipating his return to action. Although Kyrgios forced a break point in the first game, Murray responded with an excellent serve and forehand.
Ever the mercurial opponent, Kyrgios went into exhibition-style play in the third game, including two hotdog shots in one rally. With his opponent losing focus, Murray kept his own and broke to lead 4-2.
With Kyrgios veering between erratic and good play, Murray took charge of the set, eventually taking it 6-2.
The second set began with three consecutive breaks of serve, Kyrgios initially with the advantage. But Murray kept in it mentally, and winning a 26-shot rally helped him to level at 4-4.
The set went to a tiebreak – always a tough ask against a big server like the Australian. As in the set, Murray fought from behind but Kyrgios eventually prevailed.
After such a long time away, Murray understandably faded a little physically in the third set. But he kept on competing, saving a break point at 2-3 and then match points at 4-5, much to the crowd’s delight.