Murray too strong for Kendrick

Andy Murray took his place in the second round of Wimbledon but only after a tense opening match against American Robert Kendrick.

The British number one eventually triumphed 7-5 6-7 6-3 6-4 against a man who had not won a game against him the last time they played on grass.

It was a performance which will have raised a few doubts and maybe also lowered a few expectations in those who waved flags and wore painted saltires on their foreheads on Centre Court.

But Murray got the job done in the end and said: "It was a tough match. He served great for three sets and made it difficult for me. I didn't return as well as I liked.

"There were a lot of big points and it is good to have them early in the tournament.

"He played very aggressively and he doesn't give you rhythm. I didn't hit my groundstrokes as well as I could but I was happy to come through."

It was not the best of first sets from Murray, even though he did break Kendrick's serve in the first game of the match when the American understandably appeared to be troubled by nerves.

Murray threatened to breeze past a player who had never beaten anyone in the top 20, but Kendrick took advantage of a double fault from the Scot to claw back the break in the eighth game.

Suddenly, the American's flat forehand and big serve was starting to give Murray problems.

But much of Murray's success is attributable to his composure, his ability to work his way through problems and it was the Scot's percentage game which was crucial.

Sure enough, it drew a wild forehand wide of the tramlines from Kendrick to secure the crucial break in the 11th game and allow Murray to clinch the set.

Kendrick was much more competitive after switching his game plan to keep the ball away from Murray's dangerous backhand.

His serve was more solid, too, and he was playing much better than in his last meeting against Murray on grass when he lost in two sets without winning a game.

One diving volley from Kendrick in the ninth game was reminiscent of Boris Becker in his prime.

And when the set went to a tie-break it was the American, aided by a Murray double fault, who dominated proceedings, a spectacular forehand clinching the breaker 7-3 to tie the match at one set each.

There was an air of apprehension on Centre Court until the match took a decisive turn in the sixth game of the next set when Kendrick threw in two uncharacteristic double faults, one of them courtesy of a foot fault, in the sixth game.

It allowed Murray to seize the set and it was clear he was gradually grinding down the resolve of his opponent.

The crucial break came in the fifth game of the fourth set, Murray finally asserting his authority to take his place in the second round against Latvia's Ernests Gulbis and send a collective sigh of relief around SW19.

  • 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.

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss