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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Injured? Murray looks in fine form

But Wawrinka is outgunned by Russian Medvedev

Stan Wawrinka reacts during his first-round clash at Wimbledon which he lost in four sets. Photo: PA Wire
Stan Wawrinka reacts during his first-round clash at Wimbledon which he lost in four sets. Photo: PA Wire

Far from being a lame-duck champion waiting to be dispatched, Britain's Andy Murray hit Wimbledon running and looks pretty much 100 percent fit, said former world number one Mats Wilander.

Murray hadn't played a match since a first-round defeat at Queen's last month, having skipped some warm-up exhibitions, but he still smashed Kazakh qualifier Alexander Bublik 6-1 6-4 6-2 on Centre Court.

Wilander said reports of the Scot's ailing body seemed very wide of the mark. "If Murray was injured he would not be playing here at all," Wilander said in the grounds of the All England Club. "I think because he is out there and playing he is 100 percent fit. Or thereabouts ... nobody is ever 100 percent, but he is there or thereabouts.

Washed

"In any case, the adrenaline of playing Wimbledon will have completely washed away any little thing. He looked really good."

Murray delivered the same message. "I felt good. I moved well," the top seed said. "So, yeah, for a first match, considering how I was feeling five, six days ago, it was really positive."

Williams had previously written on Facebook that she was “heartbroken” over the crash which occurred in her Florida home town on June 9. Photo: Reuters
Williams had previously written on Facebook that she was “heartbroken” over the crash which occurred in her Florida home town on June 9. Photo: Reuters

Observers remarking that he seemed to be hobbling, or in discomfort, between points were off the mark, Murray said.

"I don't know if that's something that's come over the last couple of weeks when my hip's been sore. I've always done it, and everyone is sort of saying that I'm walking that way because of my hip. But I have no idea," he said.

Next up for Murray is dynamic serve-volleyer Dustin Brown. The German's claim to fame is having beaten Rafa Nadal here two years ago.

Stan Wawrinka's Wimbledon hopes were shredded in a blitz of heavy artillery fire as Russian Daniil Medvedev, making his SW19 debut, ousted the fifth seed in the first round with a stunning display of power hitting on Monday.

Three times grand slam champion Wawrinka was thoroughly out-gunned by 21-year-old Medvedev, who had the Centre Court crowd on their feet as he pulled off a dazzling array of winners to wrap up a 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-1 victory.

The Russian, who was making only his third grand slam appearance and is ranked 46 places below the world number three, was full of energy as he hauled his giant frame around the court while the Swiss seemed bothered by a niggling knee injury.

Venus Williams stayed focused on the task at hand as she began her 20th Wimbledon campaign with a straight-sets victory.

The American has been champion five times at the All England Club and battled out a 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 win against Belgium's Elise Mertens on Court One.

It was not a perfect performance from the 37-year-old, whose preparations for this year's championships have been far from routine. Williams has said she is "heartbroken" over a fatal car crash in the United States last month which led to the death of a 78-year-old man, Jerome Barson.

His daughter has filed civil court documents in Florida, claiming Williams was "driving carelessly and recklessly" which "led to the catastrophic injuries and death" of Mr Barson.

A smiling Petra Kvitova skipped into the second round, the twice champion beating Johanna Larsson 6-3 6-4 on a sun-bathed Centre Court.

Playing only her third event of the year after recovering from a knife attack in December, the Czech 11th seed used her swinging serve to great effect on the main showcourt, signing off with a heavy ace.

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