Andy Murray gets 2023 grasscourt season off to winning start at Surbiton Trophy

Back to winning ways: Andy Murray beat Chung Hyeon in his Surbiton opener (Getty Images for LTA)
Back to winning ways: Andy Murray beat Chung Hyeon in his Surbiton opener (Getty Images for LTA)

Andy Murray opted to forego the French Open to focus on his grasscourt ambitions this summer.

Quite whether that pays off remains to be seen but, on the evidence of his first match on grass, the omens are initially good.

Having opted to take a wildcard into the low-key Surbiton Trophy rather than make only his second appearance at Roland Garros in six years, Murray was posed with a potentially tough opener in Chung Hyeon.

But he served well, moved well and repeatedly broke his South Korean opponent’s serve for a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 victory watched from the stands by doubles specialist Jonny O’Mara, who he has just added to his coaching team.

There was only one moment of concern in the match when he fell over an advertising hoarding but his movement did not seem to be impacted in the aftermath.

Murray has repeatedly said that he believes he can put together a lengthy run at Wimbledon this year in an unlikely quest for a third title at SW19.

There will be infinitely tougher challenges than that of Chung but the 27-year-old is no slouch. A former NextGen title winner, he reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open before a back injury sustained in 2020. This is only his third tournament since his return.

Murray is no stranger to injury woes but there appeared to be no ill effects currently with at least Queen’s and Wimbledon to follow on the grass should he stay fit.

He broke twice in the opening set, which he closed out with three consecutive aces. He then broke his opponent in the opening game of the second set and was able to dictate the course of the match from that point onwards. A second break of the set ensued in game seven, from which he served out the match to love.