Andy Murray in the first round of Wimbledon 2022, LONDON, UK
Andy Murray in the first round of Wimbledon 2022, LONDON, UK | (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Tennis | Wimbledon 2022 | Murray overcomes early nerves to defeat Duckworth, faces Isner next

By Tony Fairbairn at Wimbledon

  • Andy Murray def James Duckworth 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4
  • Murray v John Isner [20] | H2H: Murray leads 8-0
LONDON, ENGLAND – Andy Murray overcame early nerves to defeat James Duckworth in four sets in his Wimbledon opener and will face big-serving John Isner in the second round.

 

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Andy Murray def James Duckworth 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4

Embed from Getty Images

Andy Murray is into the second round after overcoming a nervy start to defeat James Duckworth in four sets. Murray made a passive start to the match as it was the Australian who was the more aggressive player as he came into the net to finish off points efficiently. Murray was made to pay for his poor start as Duckworth broke to love in the third game for a 2-1 lead as he was rewarded for his positive start.

The break advantage for the Australian didn’t last long though as Murray began to work the angles and find effective solutions from the baseline. Duckworth produced simple errors from both sides and Murray found the break back at 2-2. Both players continued to serve effectively but ultimately it was Murray who crumbled when it mattered most as the Brit reverted to a passive style of play.

Missed first serves were a feature of the ninth game and Duckworth made the Brit pay with a forehand return winner. Despite late pressure from the Brit, the Australian continued to hit winners from short Murray groundstrokes as he took the opening set.

However as expected there was a response from Murray in the second set as he was defensively more consistent and put the Australian under more pressure with a deeper shot-making. After being unable to break in a long second game, Murray eventually broke in the sixth game as he broke down Duckworth’s game forcing more errors from the Australian.

It was the forehand side that was the more error-prone for Duckworth and Murray pounced as the Brit secured the second set with four forehand errors from the Australian. The Brit continued to take advantage of Duckworth’s lack of match-play and fitness as he continued to extend the rallies. The three-time grand slam champion created five break points in the second set and he broke twice by exposing Duckworth’s forehand.

In the fourth set there was more attacking intent from the Australian who was putting all of his energy into trying to force errors from Murray. The majority of the set saw Duckworth fend off the intense pressure from Murray, who upped his aggression on return.

However Murray eventually broke in the ninth game and closed the match out with an ace to seal his place in the second round. After the match Murray gave a positive update regarding his abdominal injury:

“It felt fine today, to be honest. The last few days when I’ve been serving was fine,” Murray told the press conference.

“I went to get a scan, an ultrasound scan on it on Saturday after my practice just to see how it was progressing. It was all clear for the first time on the scans, which is really positive. So, yeah, I wanted that kind of for my own peace of mind to know that the injury has healed. Obviously I still need to take precautions and still do some rehab and protect it when I can. In the match today it was absolutely fine.”

 

Andy Murray v John Isner [20]  H2H & Match Fundamentals

Andy Murray v John Isner [20] H2H: Murray leads 8-0
Wimbledon London, England
Grass (O) Prize Money: £78,000
Last on Centre Court, not before 5pm BST BBC Sport

Next for Murray is big-serving John Isner who went to five sets in his opening round match.

 

Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2022)

Embed from Getty Images
H2H: Andy Murray (WR 52) John Isner (WR 24)
Tournament Previous Best Winner (2013, 2016) Semi-Finals (2018)
1st Serve % 60.2 68.9
Service Games Won % 82.9 91.7
Break Points Saved % 60.9 72.2
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 53.6 41.7
Break Points Converted % 35.1 22.1

As expected Isner has been extremely effective on serve while Murray is returning the best for a few years.

 

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Playing styles and prediction

Isner has had a consistent season with the American continuing to win matches across all surfaces and tournaments. The American has only reached one quarter-final this season and though and had to go through a five set epic against qualifier Enzo Couacaud to reach the second round here.

Murray will need to continue to be smart with his return and try to be consistent with his depth of shot-making as he will look to set up effective points by playing the ball into uncomfortable areas. If the Brit anticipates well and brings a consistent level then he should win this match but Isner is still capable at 37 years-old of taking the match out of the opponents hands.

Prediction: Murray in four sets

 

 

 

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