Andy Murray progressed into the second round of Wimbledon under the roof of Centre Court with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 win over Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver.
A rain-hit evening on Day One meant the Murray match was the only one playing because of the roof installed over a year ago.
The fourth seed, although convincing in the end, struggled in the first two sets before stretching clear in the final two.
The Scot’s play was matched by some excellent powerful ground strokes by Gimeno-Traver, and an upset looked on the cards when the unseeded Spaniard took the first set 6-4.
Murray had to work for the second set, but when he finally broke for the first time in the match he never lost a game thereafter. However, he will have to start better if he is to reach the latter stages of the tournament.
Gimeno-Traver should take heart from his performance especially after coming into Wimbledon with some horrific form. He lost his first nine matches of the year and has not improved a great deal since.
A clay court player by trade, his poor footwork and movement on grass became apparent early on, when in only the second game the Spaniard slipped and proceeded to accidentally throw his racket away.
Murray had started well enough but Gimeno-Traver settled into his rhythm as the set wore on.
The first break of service arose in the ninth game but, surprisingly, it was Murray who was first to be undone. Gimeno-Traver had been creeping into the set after a slow start. And despite Murray saving two break points with some un-returnable serves, Gimeno-Traver took the game with his third break point after the Scot flashed a forehand well wide.
The Spaniard wrapped the set up in convincing fashion, bullying Murray at the back of the court and even showing some skilful volleys. It was a shock to everyone inside Centre Court but Gimeno-Traver deserved to take the set after proving to be the more aggressive and clinical of the two.
The second set began in similar fashion to the first. Both players trading service games, but the hard-hitting Spaniard was living comfortably with Murray’s unpredictable style and easily winning the mental battle, something that is often looked upon as a weakness in the Scot’s game.
But the boy from Dunblane finally broke through in the eighth game of the second set. Despite blowing two break points, Murray earned a third and capitalised on it after Gimeno-Traver’s sliced backhand drifted long. Murray made no mistake in clinching the set 6-3 with an impressive service game, wrapped up with his tenth ace of the day.
The Brit took the change of momentum into the third set. A break in the first game was won after a long, gruelling game which ended with an excellent cross-court forehand passing shot.
This signalled the beginning of the end of Gimeno-Traver whose earlier confidence was now being shaken out of him with the more winners Murray was producing. Three breaks of service in the crucial third set helped Murray clinch a 6-0 win.
Gimeno-Traver had to call the trainer with a muscle injury, but this only served to delay Murray’s rampage through the remaining games.
The fourth set was inevitable, with Murray now in complete control and showing the demanding presence that he will need to exhibit as he goes through the next rounds. An impressive run of fifteen straight games helped Murray secure another 6-0 win and ultimately the match.
He will now play the winner between Tobias Kamke and Blas Kavcic in the second round on Wednesday.