New partners Murray and Salisbury make winning start in Tokyo

Andy Murray believes he and Joe Salisbury have the potential to form a perfect partnership after they made a flying start to their Men’s Doubles campaign at Tokyo 2020

The pair beat the second seeds, France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, 6-3, 6-2, to reach the second round. 

It was the first time Murray and Salisbury have played together but they looked comfortable on court and dominated the match, pressurising their opponents serve and breaking three times in total. 

“I think we have the potential to be a really good team, I think the result today showed that,” Murray said. 

“Doubles is always tricky because sometimes the matches come down to a few points and I think we were well-deserved winners today, we created a fair few chances. But not every doubles match is like that. 

“I think if we keep the same attitude and prepare diligently, we have a chance of doing well. It is not easy, we have a tough match up next against a German pair and we’re looking forward to that one.” 

Murray and Salisbury dropped just four points on their own serve and made 17 unforced errors, 10 fewer than their opponents. 

Germany’s Tim Putz and Kevin Krawietz lie in wait in the second round, while Murray’s bid for a third straight Men’s Singles gold medal begins on Sunday against Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime. 

The 34-year-old admits he likes the conditions at Ariake Tennis Park and hopes his performance with Salisbury can transfer to Singles competition. 

“It is hot but it didn’t feel too bad on the court. We have these things blowing out cold air and the end changes helps a lot,” he said. 

“We should be starting to get used to it a little bit now, we have been here for five or six days and did some prep in the heat before coming out. 

“I do like the conditions here in terms if how the court plays. It’s not an easy one against Felix but I have played well in practice and today was good for the confidence. I think I’ll be alright.” 

Murray and Salisbury displayed plenty of energy on court and the man from Putney believes their positivity made a big difference. 

“It didn’t feel like it was our first match together," he said. “They’re a tough team but we felt really good coming into it and I think we had a great attitude and energy together."

Andy was not the only Murray in action on day one, with brother Jamie paired with Neal Skupski to take on Argentina's Horacio Zeballos and Andres Molteni.

British no.2 Heather Watson was knocked out in the first round of the women's singles by German Anna-Lena Friedsam 7-6 6-3.