Andy Murray starts Wimbledon preparations with comfortable opening win at Surbiton Trophy

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 (Getty Images for LTA)
(Getty Images for LTA)

Andy Murray got his grass-court season off to a comfortable start with a 6-2 6-1 victory over Jurij Rodionov in the first round of the Surbiton Trophy.

The two-time Wimbledon champion played in the ATP Challenger Tour event back in 2004 and this was his first return since, as he steps up his preparations for next month’s Grand Slam.

It was Murray’s first match on grass since his All England Club exit to Denis Shapovalov last July and while last summer he was only able to play five matches on the surface, the Surbiton Trophy is set to be one of three tournaments the 35-year-old plays in ahead of this year’s trip to SW19.

A two-hour delay to proceedings occurred due to rain but when the light shower eased off, the crowd were treated to some vintage Murray tennis with an array of winners, drop shots and trademark ‘come on’ shouts in 58 minutes of play.

It did not take long for the the top seed to make his mark with an ace first up and Murray was able to break Rodionov in the fourth game following a superb backhand crosscourt winner.

In his first match in almost four weeks, the three-time grand slam winner showed no signs of rustiness and clinched a second break soon after to wrap up the first set in 28 minutes.

With Chelsea midfielder and tennis fan Ruben Loftus-Cheek among those in attendance, Murray’s confidence on the grass showed at the start of the second set with an excellent lob securing a break early on.

Rodionov, who has already won two Challenger events this year, did play his part in an entertaining first-round tie with a handful of impressive winners himself.

An important hold by Murray in the fifth game from deuce maintained his advantage and with the heavens ready to open again, a crucial second break went the way of the Scot.

It allowed the Briton to serve for the match which he duly did to begin his latest season on grass in typically emphatic fashion.

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