Former World No. 1 Andy Murray returned to winning ways in just his second match since his return to competitive tennis. He beat Stan Wawrinka in a battle of the three-time Slam winning wild-cards in straight sets.
Wawrinka, who is also returning after an injury lay-off and admitted that he was frustrated with his own performance against an improved Murray from his Queen’s opener.
Wawrinka said: “For me today it was tough match, tough to find my game. I was a lot hesitating with what I wanted to do, the way I was playing. So when you play a little bit between your game against Andy, it’s very tough.
“Sometimes it’s a little bit tricky, like today, if you think too much about what you are doing in the practice or too much about the way you’re playing or what to do, then for sure you get some hesitation. That’s what happened today.”
Murray admitted that the day after the match against Nick Kyrgios he did not feel good, but the next day felt a lot better.
He told reporters: “I feel all right. Obviously the match was fairly quick, so it obviously helps. The match when I played Nick, I didn’t feel great the following day. But then two days later — so I played on the Tuesday. On the Thursday I hit a few balls in the afternoon on Thursday and actually felt, you know, decent. But, like, on Wednesday I didn’t feel particularly good. Obviously today, again, much quicker match, so I imagine I’d be all right tomorrow.
“If you focus solely on the result, you would say today would have been better than the match against Nick, but I probably felt more comfortable moving earlier in the match. I was a bit more apprehensive probably in the beginning against Nick in terms of movement because I hardly practiced much in the build-up to it so didn’t quite know exactly how I was going to feel.
“Whereas today obviously, having had that match last week and a couple of practices here, hit with Kyle yesterday, set with Kyle yesterday and couple sets were John Millman the day before, I felt a little more comfortable.”
‘I expected to be happier’ with the first win
Murray sat for a few moments taking in the win before doing his on-court interview, but the reality seemed to be a little more sobering for him than for delighted fans.
He said: “I expected to be happier, but it was obviously good to get the win against someone who is as good as Stan. I guess that’s one of the problems with being sort of a professional athlete and having competed at the top of the game. You have kind of expectations and stuff. I always thought like when I came back that I would, you know, be more pumped for every single win. But the reality was it’s the first round of an event and it was obviously great, great to get through it, but obviously want to do more than that.
“Sometimes it’s like you build things up so much in your head that when it actually happens, it’s not as big a deal as what you thought, as well. I guess something as I have gotten older, I haven’t had the fluctuations and the ups and downs like maybe I would have done earlier in my career. When I lost a match, it was disaster. When I won, it was the best thing. Whereas now I feel a bit more level-headed.
“I was more emotional before my first match last week than I was today, so, maybe it was getting the first match out of the way as well. That’s where kind of all the emotions were and a lot of the doubt. And now hopefully I’m back on the tour competing now. And, you know, I want to enjoy every single win, but I also don’t want to get too carried away with, you know, one or two matches.”
The Wimbledon question
The purpose of Murray’s participation in Wimbledon is to see whether he still feels fit enough to play at Wimbledon, which starts in less than a week’s time. The two-time champion still refuses to be rushed into any kind of decision.
He said: “I’ll decide when I’m ready. I’m not putting any pressure on myself to make that decision after one match here or two matches, because I don’t need to. I can decide when I want and I’m going to do that.
“My health and my body are No. 1 priority right now, and I will make that decision when I’m ready. If I feel like I’m in good enough shape, I’ll do it. And if I don’t, then obviously I won’t play. But, you know, the last sort of the two matches that I have played have been positive in many respects.
“It depends a little bit on here, as well. I could obviously still be playing then. You know, it’s the nature of the way our sport works is that I could be competing in the tournament, so I have no idea what’s happening on Thursday or Friday or Saturday.
If I was to get far in the competition here and had an extremely long match on the Friday and I decided, okay, I think I’m good to play Wimbledon, I could potentially play a match on Friday of three hours and not feel good the next day. That’s also a possibility. I’ll just have to wait and see what happens the next few days. I can’t predict what’s going to happen.”
Murray and Edmund will be scheduled to play their second round match on Wednesday.
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