LONDON: Not many sports events can turn to a knight of the realm to lift the gloom but Wimbledon’s rainy Tuesday (Jul 4) was saved by a virtuoso performance from Sir Andy Murray which had Centre Court cooing in pleasure.
A classic battle of Britain it wasn’t, as opponent Ryan Peniston failed to live up to the occasion, but Murray – who has revelled in National Treasure status since famously ending Britain’s 77-year wait for a home men’s singles champion in 2013 – played his part to perfection, winning 6-3 6-0 6-1.
“Obviously it is amazing to be back here on centre court,” said former world number one and twice Wimbledon champion Murray after his first-round victory.
“I started off the match quite nervously. I wanted to play well … and once I got the break in that first set, I played some great tennis.”
Few would disagree.
Gracefully patrolling the baseline in a fashion which made a mockery of his multiple hip surgeries, the 36-year-old Scot peppered Centre Court with winners in a two-hour masterclass which left world number 268 Peniston a mere spectator for large chunks of the contest.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve felt physically this good coming into Wimbledon,” Murray said.
“So I am hoping I am fit and ready for a good run,” he added, as the Centre Court whooped and cheered.
Peniston sees no reason why his fellow Brit can’t go on a run. “I mean, he played really well today. Yeah, I think why not? Why can’t he go and win it?” he told reporters.
“I think the main thing that Andy did really well today was he was just relentless on every point. I had quite a few games where I was 30-Love up, things like that, had game points, but he was relentless on every point. Yeah, that’s why the scoreline was like it was.
“I mean, he is where he is because of the way he practises … he’s the same in practice. He’s on every ball. Yeah, that’s why he’s so good.”