Andy Murray: Two-time Wimbledon champion makes strong start at Surbiton Trophy | Tennis News

Surbiton crowd treated to some vintage Andy Murray tennis at ATP Challenger Tour as he defeats world No 125 Jurij Rodionov from Austria to book a second-round date with either Radu Albot or a qualifier; Murray did not lose his serve at all in the match and broke Rodionov four times

Last Updated: 30/05/22 6:11pm

Andy Murray made a strong start at the Surbiton Trophy

Andy Murray made a strong start at the Surbiton Trophy

Andy Murray has made a strong start in his first grass-court match of the season, defeating Jurij Rodionov 6-2 6-1 in the first round of the Surbiton Trophy.

In Murray’s first visit to Surbiton since 2004, the top seed came through in flying colours against Austria’s Rodionov.

It was the 35-year-old’s first match on grass since his All England Club exit to Denis Shapovalov last July and while last summer he was only able to play five matches on the surface, the Surbiton Trophy is set to be one of three tournaments he plays in ahead of this year’s trip to Wimbledon.

The double Wimbledon champion had played in the ATP Challenger Tour event back in 2004 but a lot has happened in the ensuing 18 years

The double Wimbledon champion had played in the ATP Challenger Tour event back in 2004 but a lot has happened in the ensuing 18 years

A two-hour delay to proceedings occurred due to rain but when the light shower eased off, the crowd were treated to some vintage Murray tennis with an array of winners, drop shots and trademark ‘come on’ shouts in 58 minutes of play.

He had elected to skip the French Open to begin his preparations for Wimbledon early and received a rousing reception from those inside the 604-seater Centre Court.

It did not take long for the Scot to make his mark with an ace first up and Murray was able to break Rodionov in the fourth game following a superb backhand crosscourt winner.

In his first match in almost four weeks, the three-time Grand Slam winner showed no signs of rustiness and clinched a second break soon after to wrap up the first set in 28 minutes.

With Chelsea midfielder and tennis fan Ruben Loftus-Cheek among those in attendance, Murray’s confidence on the grass showed at the start of the second set with an excellent lob securing a break early on.

Rodionov, who has already won two Challenger events this year, did play his part in an entertaining first-round tie with a handful of impressive winners himself.

An important hold by Murray in the fifth game from deuce maintained his advantage and with the heavens ready to open again, a crucial second break went the way of the top seed.

It allowed the Briton to serve for the match which he duly did to begin his latest season on grass in typically emphatic fashion.

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