Andy Murray starts brightly with Wimbledon win over Liam Broady

Andy Murray following victory over Liam Broady
Andy Murray following victory over Liam Broady

There were no first-round dramas for Andy Murray as he eased past countryman Liam Broady to open his Wimbledon campaign.

After being taken to five sets in his first two matches at the French Open, Murray needed just an hour and 43 minutes to defeat 22-year-old wild card Broady 6-2 6-3 6-4.

The 2013 champion will hope for more of the same from his next match on Thursday against Chinese Taipei’s Lu Yen-hsun.

Murray said of his performance: “I served pretty well. Offensively I thought I did some good stuff. Maybe defensively I could have done a little bit better.

“But the first match is always tricky. Obviously Liam... we’ve never played each before although we’ve practised a lot and it’s not that easy playing someone you know so well, but I did okay.

“When we started the match we’re both trying to win but it doesn’t make it any easier. You just want to go out and try to play a good match.

“Liam played better as the match went on. He fought right the way through to the end and played some good stuff and it was a good experience for him.”

This was Murray’s first match against a fellow British player at a grand slam, and the first involving two British players since Tim Henman beat Greg Rusedski in the first round of the US Open a decade ago.

Not since Henman defeated Martin Lee in 2001, meanwhile, had there been a meeting of home players at Wimbledon in the men’s singles.

It was a huge occasion for Broady, who made Marcus Willis-style headlines on day one last year when he came from two sets down to defeat Marinko Matosevic.

He has practised a few times with Murray and admitted the first time he was so nervous he struggled to put the ball in the court.

Broady soon found out why the world number two is such a formidable opponent, winning just one point in the first three games before getting on the board, no doubt much to his relief.

Coach Ivan Lendl, back in Murray’s box for the first time at a grand slam since their reunion, had stressed the need for his charge not to waste energy and would therefore have been very happy to see him keep his foot down and break serve again to clinch the set.

The Broady family have been split down the middle ever since Liam decided in 2012 to accept help from the Lawn Tennis Association against the wishes of his father Simon.

Neither player had had anything to do with the governing body since Naomi was disciplined in 2007 after a picture of her in a nightclub was published on social media.

But Liam has now parted ways with the LTA again, although amicably this time, in order to try to repair his relationship with his father, which he admitted is still “frosty”.

He was getting a warm reception from the Centre Court crowd and he pumped his fist to a great cheer after finishing a fine point with a forehand winner, but a game later Murray wrapped up the set.

This was a stroll on the lawns for Murray and he jogged back to his chair after breaking serve again at the start of the third set.

The first signs of frustration for the home favourite came as Broady did an excellent job of keeping him out on court.

The Stockport player even had two chances to break the Murray serve but the 29-year-old lifted himself out of second gear to save them and clinched his first match point with a dinked forehand.