Home UK News Andy Murray beats Stan Wawrinka in Eastbourne to win for first time in a year

Andy Murray beats Stan Wawrinka in Eastbourne to win for first time in a year

by InterSpaceReporter


Murray’s last victory was in the fourth round of Wimbledon 2017 against France’s Benoit Paire
2018 Nature Valley International on the BBC
Venue: Devonshire Park, Eastbourne Dates: 24-30 June
Coverage: Watch the women’s tournament live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, the BBC Sport website and app.

Britain’s former world number one Andy Murray won his first match in almost a year with an impressive display against fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in Eastbourne.

Murray, 31, looked sharp and confident in winning 6-1 6-3 in the first round of the Nature Valley International.

The Scot was playing only his second competitive match since Wimbledon last year following hip surgery.

He will now face Kyle Edmund, who replaced him as British number one.

Murray is battling to prove his fitness for Wimbledon, which starts next Monday, and has spoken about needing to see how his body reacts to playing matches in the space of a few days.

Now the two-time Wimbledon champion will find out on Wednesday when he meets Edmund whether he feels up to the prospect of playing five-set matches at his home Grand Slam.

There could potentially be another all-British tie after Jay Clarke beat American Ryan Harrison 6-4 6-1 to earn his first ATP main draw win.

Clarke faces either wildcard Cameron Norrie or German qualifier Daniel Brands in the last 16 of the tournament.

Murray impresses after long road to Eastbourne

Murray and Wawrinka, who is making his own recovery from long-term injury, last faced each other as the world number one and number three in last year’s French Open semi-final at Roland Garros.

At Eastbourne they met in the first round of the ATP 250 event ranked 156th and 225th respectively.

While the stage was not quite as grand, the match was still equally important for two players who find themselves in a very different stage of their successful careers.

Murray was out of competitive action for almost a year with a hip injury, while Wawrinka twice needed surgery to fix a knee problem.

Wawrinka, 33, was missing for six months before returning at the Australian Open in January, then needed another three months out before coming back in Rome last month.

He is further along the recovery cycle than the Briton – who lost to mercurial Australian Nick Kyrgios at Queen’s last week – but you could not tell on a scorching day on the south coast.

Murray was patient and precise throughout, forcing Wawrinka into a number of wild errors, as he again defied expectations.

The Briton won the opening set in less than half an hour after two breaks of serve, taking Wawrinka’s serve again early in the second and saving four break points to lead 5-3.

That edgy service game showed even someone of Murray’s class and stature still has nerves when it comes to closing out what is an important milestone in his recovery.

Although he missed his first match point in the next game, Wawrinka coughed up a double fault to leave Murray beaming as he celebrated his first win since beating France’s Benoit Paire in the Wimbledon last 16.

“Obviously I am very happy to get the win,” said Murray. “I thought the first set I played well, but the second set was patchy and I was a bit nervous.

“When you haven’t played for the best part of a year and you face someone like Stan it is tough.”

Flickers of the 2016 Murray – analysis

BBC Sport tennis correspondent Russell Fuller in Eastbourne

The grass-court cunning which has taken Murray to two Wimbledon titles and an Olympic gold on Centre Court was very much in evidence, and he was comfortably too clever and consistent for Wawrinka on this occasion.

There is still evidence of a slight residual limp, but the way Murray sprinted to bend one forehand down-the-line winner onto the outside of the sideline reminded you of the 2016 vintage.

The match took less than half the time of his first-round clash with Nick Kyrgios at Queen’s Club, and it gives Murray the chance to see how his body will react to two matches in the space of 48 hours.

Kyle Edmund on Wednesday will be a formidable challenge – and only after that will a final decision on Wimbledon be taken.


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