Murray wins at Wimbledon in front of Queen

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray gave the Queen a home victory to savour on her first Wimbledon visit in 33 years as he demolished Jarkko Nieminen 6-3 6-4 6-2 to reach the third round.

The monarch was watching her first match on Centre Court since Virginia Wade won the women's singles title in 1977 but there was little drama as the world number four dominated his opponent.

The pair were probably more nervous about the customary bow to the Royal Box, which was carried out in unison and with confidence, than the match itself.

The British number one already knew his opponent in the third round would be Frenchman Gilles Simon who received a walkover today against Illya Marchenko.

But he also knew victory against Nieminen would be no formality as the Finn was a regular in the top 30 until a couple of years ago and gave Murray a tough time in their two previous meetings.

Indeed, the Scot had to save four break points in the opening game, one of which saw Nieminen miss by a fraction with a passing shot that had Murray well beaten.

Having dug himself out of that hole, the fourth seed then took his first opportunity, a low backhand slice proving too much for Nieminen and giving Murray his fourth consecutive point against his opponent's serve.

Even in the early stages, the 23-year-old was more willing to move forward than in his first-round win over Jan Hajek, and he made it 3-0 after recovering from 0-30.

Nieminen got on the board in the fourth game, although not without having to save two break points as Murray showed a ferocity on his forehand that will have pleased critics who deem him too passive.

And the Scot had no trouble serving out for the set, powering down three aces.

Murray's serve, which has been up and down this year, was winning him lots of free points, with the world number four regularly hitting 130mph.

He did not find Nieminen's serve so easy to threaten at the start of the second set, though, and was annoyed to have let a 0-30 opportunity slip through his fingers in the fifth game.

But eventually the pressure told on the Finn as Murray converted his third break point of the seventh game, winning the best point of the match so far with a simple volley as a scrambling Nieminen lay on the grass.

The Scot had had few alarms on his serve after that lengthy first game but, serving for the set at 5-4, he found himself down 0-30. A forehand winner and two aces soon alleviated the danger, though, and he moved to within a set of victory when Nieminen netted a backhand.

The prospect of a Nieminen comeback faded further in the opening game of the third set as Murray claimed an immediate break when the Finn, who was losing most of the baseline exchanges, came up with two backhand errors.

The fourth seed was playing with a confidence he has not displayed on too many occasions since reaching the Australian Open final in January, and a superb drop shot in the sixth game left Nieminen scrambling in vain.

There were, perhaps, a few more errors than he would have liked as well but they were far outweighed by winners, and a forehand into the net from Nieminen gave Murray a fourth break of the match.

That left last year's semi-finalist serving for the match, and he sealed an impressive victory in an hour and 42 minutes with a love game, earning a round of applause from the Queen and a standing ovation from the crowd.

The pair then bowed again as they left the court and headed for a short audience with the Queen, with the Scot able to reflect on a job well done.