Tennis: ‘Pumped’ Murray gives Centre Court plenty to cheer with opening victory

Scot beats Wawrinka in straight sets to begin quest for gold and ease Wimbledon final pain

Andy Murray still has to win five more matches to claim Olympic gold but on today’s evidence no player will be more determined to reach the podium next Sunday. Three weeks after losing to Roger Federer in his first Wimbledon final, Murray produced a focused performance full of passion to beat Stanislas Wawrinka, 6-3, 6-3 in his opening singles match.

“I’m really up for the tournament,” Murray said after overcoming the Swiss under the Centre Court roof for a second time, having won in five sets here three years ago.  “I was saying last Tuesday, when the Olympics were getting closer, that I was so pumped to play that I wanted the tournament to start the next day.”

Murray took charge from the moment he saved a break point in the opening game.  The world No 4 won 29 out of 33 points when his first serve found the target, made just 12 unforced errors to Wawrinka’s 32 and struck the ball confidently throughout.

Having taken the first set thanks to a break in the eighth game, Murray broke twice in the second. He next plays Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen or India’s Somdev Devvarman, whose match on an outside court was disrupted by the frequent rain showers.

Shutting the roof always creates an atmosphere of its own and yesterday’s crowd were in particularly boisterous mood, greeting Murray’s winners with thunderous cheers and applause. “I’ve played so many matches on there, I love the court,” Murray said. “For a lot of the people that were there today, it would have been their first visit to Wimbledon. They were obviously very, very excited.”

There were times when the rain fell so heavily on the roof that the players could barely hear the ball being struck. Murray also had to deal with a temperamental scoreboard that kept flashing during his opening service game and with a wet patch near his seat where rain appeared to be dripping through a hole in the roof.

Federer, in a show of support for Wawrinka, his doubles partner, watched the whole match. “Roger himself will tell you that when he plays, when guys like Laver, Sampras or Borg are watching, it makes it a bit more of an occasion, makes it a bit more special,” Murray said.  “I have huge amounts of respect for what Roger's been able to do, so it was nice having him come to watch.”

Meanwhile Murray said the support he had received from the public since the Wimbledon final had been “overwhelming”. He added: “I'm not kind of used to that.  I understand that sometimes in the past, it wasn't always that easy to get behind me because on the court I didn't look particularly happy. But I think during Wimbledon and the build-up to the tournament, I felt different on the court.  I felt like I'd grown up a bit.  I felt more mature.  I felt like my demeanour was better.

“The support I got after the final made a huge difference to me, to my confidence. It made a difference to my practice after that loss because I wanted to get back on the practice court straightaway.”

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions