SURBITON/STARNBERG, May 30, 2022
Two-time Wimbledon champion and former World No. 1 Andy Murray, who turned 35 earlier this month, had not competed since the Mutua Madrid Open on clay but shook off any rust with a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 win on Monday over Jurij Rodionov of Austria at the LTA Surbiton Trophy.
The top seed of the €134,920 ATP Challenger Tour 125 tournament, the first grass-court event of the season being held at the Surbiton Racket & Fitness Club, sent down nine aces, saved the only break point he faced and capitalized on four of his own eight break-point opportunities to prevail after only 57 minutes.
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“I’m always a little bit nervous coming out and playing the first match on a different surface. Even though I played in Madrid, I haven’t competed much in the last few months but I thought I played well. I approached the match in the right way, my attitude was fantastic and the tennis was good,” said Murray.
“Andy was out of my league today, but that doesn’t worry me. I haven’t had much time to acclimate, apart from that it’s not easy playing against someone who has won Wimbledon and Olympic gold on grass. It will be important to use the coming days to prepare myself better for grass and that’s exactly what I intend to do,” Rodionov shared via social media.
World No. 67 Murray will now play either Radu Albot of Moldova or a qualifier in the second round.
Harris qualifies for main draw
Earlier in the day, 27-year-old Billy Harris from Nottingham joined Murray in the main draw by beating third-seeded Indian Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the final round of qualifying.
“It was a great atmosphere even after the rain delay. Everyone started turning up, obviously Andy is on later,” Harris said. “They were probably expecting him and then I was there! I had a bad end to the second set but then came out feeling good, got a good break in and then managed to hold it out well.”