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Page last updated at 21:00 GMT, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 22:00 UK

Henman on Murray

Wimbledon Championships
Venue: All England Club, London Date: 21 June - 4 July
Live on BBC One and Two, HD, Red Button, BBC Sport website (UK only), Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra; live text commentary online and on mobile phones. Full details of BBC coverage

Andy Murray

Highlights - Murray sees off Hajek in first round

By Tim Henman
Former British number one

Andy Murray could hardly have wished for a better start to his Wimbledon campaign.

There was enough of a challenge from Jan Hajek for him to appreciate he'd been in a match, but to win in straight sets with very few complications was perfect.

I know from experience that the first round of any tournament can be tricky - just ask Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, both of whom suffered huge scares on Monday.

The practice week ahead of Wimbledon always seems annoyingly long, you're itching to get going and, once you do so, you're desperate to win your opening match.

So for Murray it's mission accomplished and, as the British number one at your home Grand Slam, I can tell you that's a good feeling.

It's not easy when you've never seen your opponent play before and for the first seven games Hajek was performing at a very high level.


The question was whether he was going to be able to maintain that level and the answer was no, because Murray started to up his game and put more and more pressure on the Hajek serve.

It wasn't long before you could see the big divide in class.

To begin with Murray wasn't allowed to play his own game because Hajek was attacking aggressively, hitting the ball extremely flat and serving at a high percentage.

But Murray stayed patient, refused to become frustrated, got into the match and then really went through the gears, eventually showing what a great repertoire of shots he has at his disposal.

Coming into Wimbledon I spoke of how important it was for him to dictate play and be the aggressor. I wanted to see him achieving a high first-serve percentage, dictating from the baseline and getting that backhand working like we know it can.

For the majority of the match he played offensive and aggressive tennis, kept his first-serve percentage well above 60%, looked to dictate from the baseline and got his backhand firing consistently.

Niemenen's a solid lefty, he's got a superb two-handed backhand, he plays from the baseline player and Murray will need to play well, but I'm confident he'll win.

Murray will go away and make sure he takes care of his body, get a good massage and stretch, and then have a tough workout on Wednesday.

He didn't have to exert himself too much against Hajek so he'll look to make sure his energy levels are 100% ready for Thursday, when he plays Jarkko Nieminen in round two.

Niemenen's an experienced player, he's been in the top 20 before and he shouldn't be taken lightly.

When I played him in the first round here in 2005 I had to come from two sets down to win in five. He's a solid lefty, he's got a superb two-handed backhand, he plays from the baseline and Murray will need to play well, but I'm confident he'll win.

If he does, people will inevitably start talking up his title chances but - and I know it's a cliche - he really must take one game at a time, ignore all the expectations and remain focused.

That might be slightly easier this year because the World Cup has ensured the media attention surrounding him has not been as intense as normal.

The next match is the only thing you can afford to worry about and if you start getting ahead of yourself you'll be packing your bags.

Murray is not the sort of person to fall into that trap.

Tim Henman was speaking to BBC Sport's David Ornstein. Henman is part of the BBC's commentary team for Wimbledon 2010.

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see also
Murray eases through at Wimbledon
22 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Andy Murray column
22 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Wimbledon 2010 - day two photos
22 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Henman on Federer's fightback
21 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Federer escapes first-round shock
21 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Henman on Murray
17 Jun 10 |  Tennis

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