Andy Murray began his defence of his Wimbledon title with a confident and impressive victory over Alexander Bublik in straight sets, winning 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 on Centre Court to set up a Second Round match against Dustin Brown.
The build-up to Murray's bid to become the first British player to defend a Grand Slam title since Fred Perry – champion here from 1934-36 – has been hampered by a hip problem, which forced him to cancel last week's exhibition matches at Hurlingham.
Yesterday, Murray was adamant that he had fully recovered but he has not looked entirely comfortable in practice and, on occasion, he moved gingerly across the court in an otherwise routine win. The draw has been kind to Murray, and 20-year-old Bublik – a lucky loser playing in only his 7th Tour-level match – was no match for the World No.1 – fully fit or not.
The Kazakh, No.135 in the world, quickly proved that he is nothing if not entertaining. He won the very first point with a fine volley and he twice aced Murray in his first service game — once with a second serve.
Soon after, he was unfortunate to see a between-the-legs shot land long. He was also guilty of unforced errors, and a lazy forehand slice into the net followed by consecutive double faults helped Murray to a first break at 3-1.