Murray stretched as gutsy Kendrick gives Scot a scare

IF Andy Murray had been under any illusion that his Wimbledon campaign would be a mere procession to the final then he was rudely snapped out of it yesterday by Robert Kendrick.<br /><br />World No3 Murray may have beaten his American opponent 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-4 to reach round two, but not before his title credentials were given a rigorous examination.<br /><br />The British No1 was stretched in soaring temperatures on Centre Court, and will need to improve before a tricky next match against Latvia&rsquo;s Ernests Gulbis on Thursday.<br /><br />Murray, second favourite to win the tournament and become the first British men&rsquo;s singles champion since 1936, edged a nervy first set but was taken the distance in the second before losing the tie-break.<br /><br />World No76 Kendrick revelled in the occasion, thrilling the crowd with some diving volleys, and made the 22-year-old work to take a tight third set. But his aggressive strategy proved high-risk, while Murray&rsquo;s composure on the big points paid off, and the Scot eventually claimed victory with his second match point.<br /><br />&ldquo;It was a tough match,&rdquo; said Murray. &ldquo;There were a lot of big points and it&rsquo;s good to have them early in the tournament. I knew I was going to have to play well and in the end I did. I didn&rsquo;t hit my ground strokes as well as I&rsquo;d have liked for the first two sets but it got better and I was happy to come through.&rdquo;<br /><br />Murray next faces former French Open quarter-finalist Gulbis &ndash; an opponent who, when on song, is far better than his current ranking of 76 suggests. He added: &ldquo;I will have to be on my game because he has caused some upsets in the past.&rdquo;<br /><br />The remaining British men in the singles draw all limped out yesterday, in varying degrees of dignity. Josh Goodall pushed Michael Llodra all the way before losing to the Frenchman in five sets. Dan Evans was swiftly despatched by 12th seed Nikolay Davydenko, while British No2 Alex Bogdanovich also lost in straight sets to the Czech Tomas Berdych.<br /><br />Elsewhere, sixth seed Andy Roddick needed four sets to see off Jeremy Chardy, while eighth seed Juan Martin Del Potro shone in a 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 win over Arnaud Clement.<br /><br />Marat Safin&rsquo;s last visit to Wimbledon ended abruptly when the 14th seed lost 6-2, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 to qualifier Jesse Levine.