Murray in control but Rusedski faces end

For Andy Murray it was a new beginning, a winning start at his first Grand Slam tournament under his recently appointed coach, Brad Gilbert. For Greg Rusedski it was surely the end of the line, a final farewell after 14 years on the biggest tennis stages.

It was the night of the Brits here on Wednesday, with two young guns and two old hands trying to negotiate the first round of the US Open. Murray, 19, weathered a brief storm whipped up by Robert Kendrick to win in four sets, while Josh Goodall, 20, was far from disgraced in losing by the same margin to Paul-Henri Mathieu, a talented Frenchman.

Rusedski, 33 next week, played his perennial rival, Tim Henman, 12 months his junior. For a set we saw the Rusedski of old, punching out big serves and belting forehands down the line, but by the end a hip injury, which has ruined his summer and is now set to end his career, was hampering his movement. Henman won 7-6, 6-2, 6-3, his seventh successive victory over his fellow countryman, to earn a second-round encounter with Roger Federer. They met at the same stage at Wimbledon, two months ago when the Briton won just six games.

Although Rusedski refuses to throw in the towel just yet, particularly as he hopes to play in Britain's Davis Cup relegation match in Ukraine later this month, he all but acknowledged that this was his final bow. The former world No 4 is now ranked No 136, too low to gain direct entry even to some of the lesser ATP tournaments.

Rusedski says he still has the desire to succeed, but he would probably need surgery on the hip cartilage he tore in June if he wanted to compete successfully at the highest level again.

"You have to be brutally honest with yourself," Rusedski said. "You have to say: 'Am I just travelling here to make up the numbers? And am I happy doing that?' Before I had this injury I always still felt like I had a chance to win a major. Once you get this sort of injury it takes your hope away a little bit more because you can't physically sustain it."

Admitting this may well be his last Grand Slam appearance, Rusedski added: "I think the worst thing is seeing an athlete when you can tell they can't do it. I don't want to be waving to people and bowing out after first rounds just because I'm hobbling around. I think it's better to make a solid decision, which I'll probably make after Ukraine, if I get chosen for the team."

Murray said that Rusedski's departure would be a loss both for British tennis and himself. "When I first came on the tour I practised with him and spoke to him a lot," Murray said. "He's a very kind guy and he always looks for the positive in everything, which makes him like Brad [Gilbert] in a way."

Rusedski believes that Gilbert has already helped Murray to control his emotions better. During his 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Kendrick, who took Rafael Nadal to five sets at Wimbledon this summer, Murray kept his head despite derogatory comments from the partisan crowd, some contested line calls and a whirlwind second set in which his hit-and-hope opponent barely missed a shot.

"I don't remember shouting in anger once during the match and I didn't throw my racket," Murray said. "I've started to deal with things much better. I don't get too upset on the court now. I try to keep my emotions a bit more in check."

Murray, who yesterday lost his first-round doubles match alongside James Auckland to Ashley Fisher and Tripp Phillips, now plays Alessio Di Mauro, a 29-year-old Italian clay-courter who lost only three games when they met in a Challenger event in Italy last year.

Elsewhere, Nadal dropped his first set of the tournament in beating Luis Horna, while Lleyton Hewitt conceded only eight games on his way to victory over Jan Hernych.

Some of the women's second-round contests were embarrassingly one-sided. Six of the top 10 seeds ­ Justine Henin-Hardenne, Maria Sharapova, Elena Dementieva, Nadia Petrova, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Lindsay Davenport ­ dropped only 12 games between them. Daniela Hantuchova, the No 17 seed, lost 7-5, 6-3 to Serena Williams, who needed a wild card to play here after six months out of the game.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future