Murray sets tongues wagging after serving up win
There was a lot of talk about Andy Murray’s fitness in the build-up to Wimbledon but it was an under-arm serve from the Scot in his win over James Duckworth which set tongues wagging.
The former world No. 1 came from behind to beat the unseeded Australian 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4, with his cheeky serve coming in the third set on Centre Court.
It was only the second time in his career that Murray, who had been struggling with an abdominal injury before the tournament, had served in such a manner.
The delivery in the fourth game of the third set with the match level at one set apiece prompted BBC commentator Andrew Cotter to say: “If it works, it works, but that took everyone by surprise.”
Fellow-commentator John McEnroe drew comparisons with the controversial Nick Kyrgios after the surprise shot.
“Is this Kyrgios or Murray?” the former Wimbledon champion said.
“I don’t think I have ever seen that from Murray. Wow.”
McEnroe suggested the unorthodox serve may now become more popular given Murray’s successful tactic against an opponent who was standing well back from the base line.
“Nick will be loving this if he is watching it, which he will be,” he said. “He’s spreading it, everyone will be doing it.”
Murray’s win set up a second-round clash with the big-serving John Isner, and he goes into the match with eight straight wins over the American.
“It’s amazing to be back here with a full crowd, it’s an amazing atmosphere,” said the 35-year-old after his victory.
“Obviously I’m getting on a bit so I don’t know how many more opportunities I’ll get to play on this court, so I want to make the most of every time I get to come out here.
“Hopefully I’ll get another match on here in a couple of days.
“I thought I did well to rebound after the first set. Once I started to find my returns I felt a bit more comfortable and I’m glad to get through it.
“There’s always nerves, pressure, butterflies and stress, and it was a longer build-up for me because of the ab injury, so it’s great to get out here and get a win under my belt.”
Raducanu passes grass test
Emma Raducanu’s first appearance on Wimbledon’s Centre Court showed a welcome return to form after an an injury-hit few months.
After all the uncertainty surrounding her fitness, the 19-year-old Briton enjoyed a straight-sets victory over the Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck.
Raducanu had played only seven games — not matches — of grass-court tennis and there were fears she may not overcome a side strain to take her place at SW19.
But she showed few signs of discomfort in a 6-4 6-4 success that sets her up for a second round clash with number 55-ranked Caroline Garcia.
Appearing in her box was one of Raducanu’s childhood coaches, Jane O’Donoghue, the 39-year-old former top-200 player, who is overseeing her training sessions.
“Jane has been with me since I was ten years old,” Raducanu said. “She’s a family friend and has been there throughout my career whenever I’ve needed help. She’s very successful in her industry. It’s just great to have someone who I’ve known for years be there for me this week.”