Andy Murray continues Wimbledon preparation with hard-fought Surbiton win over Dutch qualifier

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Andy Murray was suitably tested as he prepared for Wimbledon with a tight victory over Gijs Brouwer in the Surbiton Trophy on Thursday.

The Dutch qualifier and world No230 put up a fight over almost two hours of the last-16 ATP Challenger Tour match, Murray eventually coming through 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3).

Next up for the Scot will be fifth seed Brandon Nakashima after Murray skipped this year’s French Open to maximise his grass-court preparation.

Like during his opening match at Surbiton Racket & Fitness Club, Murray started with an ace to delight those packed into the 604-seater Centre Court with long-serving physio Shane Annun and strength and conditioning coach Matt Little again sitting amongst the spectators.

Brouwer held his own during the opening exchanges and sent down a couple of aces before he had to save two break points in the sixth service game. It was Murray's turn to be on the back foot at 5-5 but he eventually held before a tie-breaker was required to decide the opener.

The serve of the former Olympic champion had been impressive throughout the first set and two more aces were followed by an exceptional backhand winner down the line to edge the tie-break by a 7-4 score.

Murray had won inside 58 minutes on Monday but with this opener alone lasting six minutes fewer, it highlighted the challenge being provided by Brouwer.

It continued in the same vein in the second and while the double Wimbledon champion saved one break point in the fourth game, he could not repeat the trick in his next service game and trailed 4-2.

An instant response was produced by Murray, who showed great movement to reach a shot at the net to get the set back on serve. Brouwer maintained his level to ensure the Briton twice served to stay in the set, which he did to force another tie-break.

Murray's quality shone through there with a mixture of fine returning and excellent serving seeing him win 7-6 (4) 7-6 (3) in one hour and 50 minutes. It made it back-to-back victories on grass and three more will ensure he lifts silverware in England again on Sunday.

Additional reporting by PA Media.

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