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Page last updated at 16:46 GMT, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 17:46 UK

Wimbledon 2010: Andy Murray beats Jan Hajek in opener

Wimbledon Championships
Venue: All England Club, London Date: 21 June - 4 July
Coverage:
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Andy Murray

Highlights - Murray sees off Hajek in first round

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

British number one Andy Murray began his fifth Wimbledon campaign with a comprehensive straight-sets win over Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic.

Murray recovered from dropping serve early on to win 7-5 6-1 6-2 in fiercely hot conditions on Court One.

He goes on to face Finland's Jarkko Nieminen in the second round.

The 23-year-old Scot is trying to win his first Grand Slam title and so end Britain's 74-year wait for a men's singles champion at Wimbledon.

There were plenty of question marks over Murray's form coming into the tournament after he admitted to struggling for confidence following defeat by Roger Federer in January's Australian Open final.

Murray satisfied with first-round win

And while a victory over the world number 90 does not prove he is back to his best, 17 aces and 56 winners were encouraging signs for the fourth seed.

The Briton, who lost to Andy Roddick the semi-finals last year, came out firing with two aces in his opening service game but was unusually tentative on return in the early stages.

Hajek, who had won just one match on grass in his entire career coming into the contest, started impressively and broke in game three with a blistering forehand and a cute drop shot.

There were increasing signs that the 26-year-old Czech could be dangerous if allowed to tee off on his forehand and it took until the eighth game for Murray to seize control of the match.

After three break-back points slipped away, Hajek saving one with a superb volley and another with a fabulous drop shot, Murray appeared to think enough was enough and stepped in to crack away a backhand return on his fourth chance.

Suddenly the world number four was fired up and attacking the Hajek serve, and when he earned a first set point in game 12 the Czech could not handle the backhand return that came arrowing to his feet.

606: DEBATE
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Murray let out a "C'mon!" as an unexpectedly testing set was finally closed out after 45 minutes, and moments later he was clenching his fist at the other end of the court in celebration of an early break in the second.

The Wimbledon spectators might have enjoyed a thrilling first day as Roger Federer was taken to the brink of defeat, but Tuesday's Court One crowd was happy for the home favourite to serve up a less nerve-jangling afternoon.

Murray's serve was now totally dominant and another break saw him ease through the second set in 25 minutes, prompting Hajek to call a medical timeout and receive attention to his lower back.

What had begun so positively for the Czech had by now turned into a gruelling experience as Murray had him scampering all over the court in the early evening sun.

A spectacular tumble to the turf was the only alarm for Murray in the closing stages but he picked himself up with a wry smile and went on to seal the win in one hour, 40 minutes.

"The start of the match was tricky, I haven't seen him play that much," said Murray. "He started very well but once I got back into the first set, I did start to feel a lot more comfortable.

"I served well and didn't give him many chances."

He added: "I felt I was definitely in the right frame of mind for the match. I felt when I went behind, it's not the best start but I felt calm. I just found a way to get myself back into the match."



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see also
Andy Murray column
22 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Henman on Murray
22 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Hajek v Murray as it happened
22 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day two as it happened
22 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Serena sees off De Brito at SW19
22 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Sixth seed Stosur in shock exit
22 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Eighth seed Verdasco crashes out
22 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Andy Murray column
20 Jun 10 |  Scotland
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis


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