Wimbledon 2014: Roberto Bautista Agut denies Andy Murray revenge

Jan Hernych beat the British No 1 in the Scot's first game as a professional, in April 2005


There is to be no emotional rendezvous for Andy Murray against the first opponent he ever encountered as a professional. In April 2005 in Barcelona, the 17 year-old Scot, ranked 397 in the world, was beaten after winning the opening set of his first match on the tour by by Jan Hernych from Prague.

Today Hernych, once ranked No 59 but now 34 years old and only 285 – a qualifier and the lowest-ranked player in the second round – was on Court 18 trying to earn a rematch in very different circumstances. But after drawing level at one set each, he finished well beaten by Roberto Bautista Agut, a 26-year-old Spaniard likely to provide a far more formidable opponent for the defending champion.

Bautista Agut is a man in form, enjoying much the best season of his career, which has improved his ranking from 58 at the end of last year to 23. The highlights have included reaching the round of 16 at the Australian Open, beating Juan Martin del Potro; a good performance in losing 6-4, 6-3 to his compatriot Rafael Nadal in the Madrid semi-final last month; followed by two wins at the French Open and then a tournament victory on grass at s'Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands.

Murray has not met him before, but said: "I practised with him quite a lot, [including] in Valencia before the tournament in Madrid. He's a very good player. He doesn't play like a lot of the Spanish guys, he plays very flat, not much topspin. The grass courts suit his game pretty well. He's obviously started well here. It will be a step up for sure. I think he's probably in the top 20 in the world now and he's improving all the time."

In the previous round here, Bautista Agut beat American Steve Johnson for the third time this year and was rewarded with a place on a show court against Hernych. On Friday it may well be Centre Court, where the crowd will not be endeared with the grunt with which the Spaniard hits every shot. It was much in evidence as he whipped forehands and serves of up to 123mph at Hernych. The service was rarely followed by a sortie to the net, which meant he was occasionally caught out by a drop-shot, but after conceding the second set he ran away with the match 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Last night he cited the victory over Del Potro in January as an important breakthrough: "After that I felt I could beat every player. I'm not scared [of Murray], I'm winning a lot of matches and I'll try to be aggressive and enjoy it."

"He has had a good year," his coach Pepe Vendrell told The Independent. "His other big match was against Rafa in Madrid. Now we want to enjoy the moment before thinking about playing Andy."

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
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.

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine