Wimbledon 2017: Defending champion Andy Murray cruises into second round, Nishikori outclasses Cecchinato

first_imgDefending champion Andy Murray of Britain fought off a nagging left hip injury and a half-hour rain delay to beat Alexander Bublik 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in the opening round of Wimbledon.Murray, who lost in the first round at Queen’s last month, showed no ill effects from an injury that caused him to call off two days of practice last week.The 134th-ranked Bublik, from Kazakhstan, was playing in his seventh tour-level match. His eccentric style, built on slices and drop shots, seemed as though it could test Murray’s mobility.Murray countered with his own defensive game and took advantage of his opponent’s errors. Bublik had 35 unforced errors to Murray’s 10 and had 12 double-faults.NISHIKORI HITS TOP FORMJapan’s Kei Nishikori breezed through his Wimbledon first-round clash with Italy’s Marco Cecchinato 6-2 6-2 6-0 on Monday, demolishing an opponent who was playing his first senior-level match on grass.The ninth seed did not disappoint the legion of Japanese fans who gave him a hero’s welcome as he walked on to Court Twelve, outclassing his rival from the first point when he powered a backhand winner down the line.Cecchinato, ranked 102nd, could not handle Nishikori’s thundering drives off both wings, with the 24-year-old Italian’s one-handed backhand proving particularly fragile.Nishikori, 27, showed off his full repertoire of shots in a faultless third set which he peppered with delicate drop shots and ended with an emphatic volley.Japan’s highest-ever ranked player did not show any sign of the injuries that have plagued him on grass courts in recent years. His toughest challenge of the day was making his way off the court as he was mobbed by dozens of fans seeking autographs. advertisementlast_img

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