Murray off to winning start at Wimbledon

Andy Murray recovered from a shaky start to cruise through his first-round match against Jan Hajek in a rare appearance on Court One this afternoon.

The British number one is more used to being centre stage at Wimbledon but it was not an extended stay on the All England Club's second court as he dispatched his Czech opponent 7-5 6-1 6-2 in little over an hour and a half.

Things did not look quite so straightforward when Hajek broke in only the third game but Murray levelled at 4-4 and from then on it was one-way traffic in favour of the world number four.

Murray was happy with his performance, saying: "I thought it was good. The start was tough, I hadn't seen him play much but I started to play better once I got the break back and the second and third sets were much better."

Little was expected of Hajek, who was playing only his second match at Wimbledon, but Murray will have been well aware of Roger Federer's surprise struggles against Alejandro Falla yesterday, while his own poor form meant nothing could be taken for granted.

The fourth seed began confidently enough with two aces in a love service game but two games later he found himself at 15-40, and a drop shot from Hajek on the second break point was good enough to send the Czech into a shock lead.

And he held onto that despite pressure from Murray, troubling the Scot with some fierce groundstrokes and showing a willingness to come to the net that was not matched by his opponent.

The British number one has won only 11 matches in five months since reaching the Australian Open final but he retrieved the break in the eighth game at the fourth opportunity with a trademark backhand return.

Murray was starting to find his range, displaying a bit more aggression, and he clinched the first set when Hajek sent a backhand long, giving the fourth seed a fifth consecutive point.

Errors were creeping into the world number 90's game and Murray began the second set in perfect fashion by breaking Hajek to take a 2-0 lead.

The 23-year-old's body language in his defeats by Tomas Berdych at the French Open and Mardy Fish at Queen's showed a player ill at ease on the court but there were no signs of frustration today as Murray began to toy with his opponent.

Another break put the home hope 4-0 up before Hajek stopped the rot by holding serve at the third attempt. Murray then had to save only his third break point of the match before serving out the set.

Hajek's chances of troubling Murray had surely gone and the 26-year-old began the third set by taking a medical time-out for treatment to his left leg.

He then started his service game with a double fault before a wild forehand gifted the fourth seed two more break points, of which he needed only one thanks to another error from his opponent.

In contrast, Murray's statistics were firmly in favour of winners while his serve, which has been up and down this season, frequently proved too hot for Hajek.

Another break arrived in the fifth game, putting the Scot within touching distance of round two, although there was a worrying moment in the following game when he fell heavily approaching the net. Fortunately there did not seem to be any damage done.

Although Hajek then held serve, Murray wrapped up a routine win on his second match point when a backhand return from his opponent sailed into the net.

The Scot is set to return to Centre Court on Thursday when the Queen visits Wimbledon. After some negative weekend headlines, he clarified yesterday that he would bow to the monarch and today he again expressed his displeasure with stories to the contrary.

"There were a few things that came out in the press that were totally untrue," he said.

A boy holds a chick during the Russian National Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn 2014 in Moscow on October 9, 2014.
Life and Style
love + sex
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United 1 player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot