“I don’t know how many more opportunities I get to play on this court” – Murray relishes atmosphere, and victory, on Day 1

Andy Murray edged out James Duckworth 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 on Monday evening. He’ll play American John Isner, the No 20 seed, in the next round

Andy Murray Wimbledon 2022 Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 27, 2022 Britain’s Andy Murray celebrates winning his first round match against Australia’s James Duckworth || © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray edged out Australian James Duckworth 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, moving into the winner’s circle for the first time since he reached the final at Stuttgart in the first week of the grass season.

Since then Murray has been busy trying to get healthy – while British tennis fans have held their collective breath – with his Wimbledon in doubt due to a nagging abdomen injury.

After Monday’s win over the Aussie, a victory in which Murray showed no signs of the injury that curtailed his grass-court preparations, he expressed relief that he could finally get out on the court and compete once again.

“There’s always nerves and pressure and butterflies and stress before the first match,” Murray said. “It was a longer buildup for me than usual because of the ab injury I had after Stuttgart, so I’ve done a lot of practicing here at the venue in the last couple of weeks and it was great to get out here and get a win under my belt – hopefully I’ll play better from here on.”

“Obviously I’m getting on a bit now so I don’t know how many more opportunities I get to play on this court, so I want to make the most of every time.”

— Andy Murray

Making the most of every opportunity

35-year-old Murray improved to 60-11 at his home Slam, as he made just his second appearance at SW19 since 2017. Having gone through multiple hip injuries and turned 35 this spring, the three-time Slam champion knows he is close to the end of his legendary career.

All the more reason to give everything he has to making the moment special.

“It was good to be back out here again with a full crowd, after the last few years, in an amazing atmosphere,” an emotional Murray told the Centre Court crowd after his win. “Obviously I’m getting on a bit now so I don’t know how many more opportunities I get to play on this court, so I want to make the most of every time. Glad I managed to get through and hopefully I get another match out here in a couple of days.”

Isner next

Next up at Wimbledon Murray will face American John Isner, the No 20 seed, in a matchup that has favoured the Scot quite well over the years.

Murray owns an 8-0 lifetime edge over the hard-serving American, including three wins at the Slams – but they have never met on grass.

37-year-old Isner, a former semi-finalist at Wimbledon, feels similarly about making the most of his chances on the biggest showcourts in the sport as he plays in the twilight of his career.

“I hope to play on Centre Court against him,” Isner said. “I actually have played there, I think only twice, in the semifinals a few years ago, and I played Roger there at the Olympics. It was a different feel there, of course. Would love another opportunity to play on that court, because, you know, could be my last chance.”

A strong finish

After dropping the opening set, Murray was stellar from the service stripe. He dropped just 17 points on serve across the final three sets, and didn’t drop a single first-serve point in the second and fourth sets.

He finished winning 85 percent of his first-serve points on the match, and held in his last 14 service games.

With his victory, Murray improved to 14-0 in first-round matches at Wimbledon – he has never lost a second-round match at SW19 either (13-0).

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