BRITISH No1 Andy Murray revealed his delight at his stunning start to Wimbledon after ruthlessly dismissing Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko to underline his potential to challenge for a first grand slam title.
Murray defeated Davydenko 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 on Centre Court to dissolve remaining doubts about his fitness and form after a shock early exit from Queen’s was preceded by back trouble at the French Open, though he was not alone in impressing.
Jamie Ward fought for five fascinating sets to overcome Spain’s world No36 Pablo Andujar 4-6, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the tournament’s second round for the first-ever time with an equally excellent victory.
“The first two sets were very good,” said Murray. “I got off to a great start. I’ve been waiting around since Queen’s, I’ve been itching to get going.
“I wanted to get out of the blocks quickly today. I was hitting the ball very cleanly, I used my slice very well.
“I probably settle into matches a bit quicker than I used to. There’s been a lot of talk from a lot of people so I just wanted to start the tournament. The first round’s never easy but it was a good start.”
Murray will face the winner of Ivo Karlovic versus Dudi Sela, while Ward meets Mardy Fish, and remains on course to reach a semi-final with Spain’s world No2 Rafael Nadal, who yesterday started slowly before beating Thomaz Bellucci in straight sets.
Nadal was broken twice in the opening set and trailing 4-0 before a confident comeback inspired a 7-6 (7-0), 6-2, 6-3 victory and may have to overcome France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals after the fifth seed defeated 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets.
“I have to improve a lot in the next round,” said Nadal. “I made more mistakes than usual, I was very lucky to come back from 4-0 down.”
Joining Nadal in the tournament’s second round is Juan Martin del Potro, after his four-set victory over Robin Haase, and 12th seed Nicolas Almagro, who overcome Olivier Rochus in five sets.
Spaniard David Ferrer will today resume play against Dustin Brown, over whom he holds a two-set lead.