Title-chasing Andy Murray believes there is plenty of scope for improvement despite starting his Wimbledon campaign with a straight-sets victory over unseeded Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan yesterday.
Third seed Murray was presented with a robust workout by unheralded world No59 Kukushkin, who served for the second set, before the in-form third seed prevailed 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.
The draw for the second round has pitted the 28-year-old against Holland’s Robin Haase, who dispatched Colombia’s Alejandro Falla in four sets. Murray has beaten the Dutchman on each of their last three meetings.
While aspects of Murray’s performance were not at their fluent best in stifling heat, the world No3 insisted a relatively hassle free passage, which ignites his charge for a second Wimbledon title, was the priority.
“Sometimes your opponent doesn’t allow you to play your best. Obviously I wanted to play a bit better,” said Murray.
“Even though he was making it difficult for me to play well, I feel there were things I could have done better out there, which hopefully on Thursday I’ll do better.
“The way he played made it extremely difficult to play offensive tennis but sometimes you just have to knuckle down and get the win. It doesn’t say on this match report how well I played, it just says that I won the match. That’s the most important thing.”
Home success did not end with Murray. Victories for Aljaz Bedene and James Ward, while also factoring in Liam Broady’s win on Monday, means Britain has four men in the second round of Wimbledon for the first time since 2006.
Slovenia-born Bedene, who attained British citizenship in March, dispatched veteran Czech competitor Radek Stepanek – conqueror of Murray at last year’s Aegon Championships – in five-sets, 7-5, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, and will now face Serbia’s Viktor Troicki.
British No4 James Ward, meanwhile, took full advantage of facing lucky loser Luca Vanni rather than eighth seed David Ferrer, who was forced to withdraw on the eve of the tournament through injury. Ward beat the Italian 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.
There was not universal joy for British players, however, as wildcards Kyle Edmund and Brydan Klein both lost in straight sets to Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov and Andreas Seppi of Italy respectively.
Order of play
▀ Djokovic  v Nieminen
▀ Giraldo v Nishikori 
▀ S. Williams v Babos
▀ Haas v Raonic 
▀ Hantuchova v Watson
▀ Wawrinka  v Estrella Burgos