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Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Thursday, 24 June 2010 15:03 UK

Wimbledon 2010: Andy Murray wins in front of the Queen

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

Highlights - Masterful Murray's royal performance

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Andy Murray delivered a well-practised bow to the watching Queen on Centre Court before beating Jarkko Nieminen to reach the third round at Wimbledon.

The Briton played so well in his 6-3 6-4 6-2 win that he managed to briefly shift the focus from the Queen's first visit to Wimbledon since 1977.

Murray saved four break points in the first game but would not face another.

He assumed total control from then on, firing down 18 aces as he won in one hour and 42 minutes.

"I think for all the players, it's probably a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us," Murray said of meeting the Queen.

"I'm sure everyone thought it was a great occasion. I don't know whether she'll be coming in the next few years but I definitely enjoyed it."

Andy Murray and Jarkko Nieminen bow for the Queen on Centre Court

Murray's royal bow raises a cheer

The 23-year-old Scot goes on to face Frenchman Gilles Simon in round three after the 26th seed was handed a walkover when his second-round opponent withdrew.

Murray had repeatedly been asked in the build-up about his thoughts on playing in front of the Queen, and on entering Centre Court the two players stopped at the service line to turn and deliver well-rehearsed bows to the royal box.

If matters of royal etiquette had been a distraction, Murray found himself quickly brought back to the task at hand as he was tested immediately in a seven-minute opening service game. Nieminen missed by millimetres with a pass on one of four break points, and when Hawkeye confirmed it had just failed to catch the line, the Finn looked to the sky in disbelief.

With that early battle won, Murray quickly rediscovered the more aggressive hitting that marked the latter stages of his first-round match against Jan Hajek and he broke for 2-0 thanks to some heavy forehands.

606: DEBATE

A clenched fist showed the confidence Murray took from such an early breakthrough and the Briton dominated the rest of the set, narrowly failing to break again in game four and wrapping up the set with three successive aces after 36 minutes.

Nieminen did well to hang on in the early stages of the second set as he won just two points in Murray's opening three service games, meaning the Finn was always under pressure on his own serve.

That pressure told at 3-3 when Nieminen was almost literally run into the ground on the second break point of the game.

Murray moved his man around mercilessly until the Finn tumbled over, allowing the Briton to chip the ball into the empty court.

After 70 minutes of nerve-free entertainment for the home crowd, there was an uneasy ripple around Centre Court as Murray slipped 0-30 down when serving for the second set.

Andy Murray

Murray reflects on special day

They need not have worried. A beautiful forehand down the line got him back on track and two more aces followed as he moved two sets clear.

The fourth seed was now in full flight, constantly varying his pace, spin and direction from the baseline, and a bewildered Nieminen could only hook a backhand into the tramlines when facing break point at the start of the third.

Murray hit two more fizzing forehands on his way to the double-break in game seven and served out confidently to complete one of his best performances of 2010.

All that remained was for the British number one and his beaten opponent to bow once again in front of the royal box before they both headed off Centre Court for an audience with the Queen.

And Murray said afterwards that he had not felt any extra nerves despite the unusual circumstances.

"Obviously it was quite a big occasion but you try and prepare for it the same as every match," he said. "And once you do get into the tournament, you tend to have a routine you stick to. I just tried to go along with that."

The Briton was also happy with his form after coming through the tense opening moments against Nieminen.

"He had a few break points in the first game and then, once I managed to hold that game, I obviously got the break straight away. That settled me down a little bit.

"It was a good match. He's a tough player, very solid, but I served very well."



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see also
Nieminen v Murray as it happened
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Weary Isner wins marathon match
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Nadal pushed all the way by Haase
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Ruthless Serena into third round
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Tsonga battles into third round
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Wimbledon day four as it happened
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Haase v Nadal as it happened
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Murray eases through at Wimbledon
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Andy Murray column
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Order of play
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Men's singles draw
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Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
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