Murray looks ahead after quick-fire Wimbledon victory

25 June 2014 / 22:47

Pity poor Blaz Rola. He endearingly worried about 'pooping his pants' ahead of his show court Wimbledon debut and duly got his backside kicked by Andy Murray.

The defending champion advanced to the third round 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 and, ominously for his rivals, wasn't even on top form, with his first service far from fluid and unforced errors creeping into his game, though discipline is hard to maintain when progress is so one-sided.

However, he certainly had no complaints with the overall performance, wrapping up the third set in just 24 minutes - roughly the same amount of time it takes to queue for the Wimbledon Shop.

It was Murray's most economical victory yet at the All England Club and only eight players have won with 20 games or less in Wimbledon's 46-year open era to underline just how dominant it was.

Murray clearly wants to expend as little energy as possible in these early skirmishes, rightly mindful of stiffer tasks to come. 

He paid the price at the recent French Open for getting dragged into longer encounters, which ultimately meant his fuel gauge was empty by the time he ran into the unstoppable force that is Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. 

It's a mistake he won't be making again.

"It wasn't that hard and it's nice to finish matches off quickly, play well, establish the momentum and do what I need to do," he said.

"This is the first year he's played on grass. He's just come out of college and broken into the top 100. It was tough for him, because he doesn't have a lot of grass court experience, but he'll definitely keep improving.

"In Paris I was ahead in matches and then couldn't finish sets off. It probably wouldn't have made much difference against Rafa in the semis but every bit of energy you can conserve could be useful later on.

"When you are in a position to win a match like that, you have to try and do it as quickly as possible. Everyone in this tournament are very, very good tennis players. 

"If you give them a look in, then they could see a way back in and start playing very well."

Rola is new on the ATP Tour and the gulf in class and experience was clear from the opening game, as Murray clearly seeks to tread lightly on these manicured lawns in his early matches.

Next up is Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, a 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 winner over Jan Hernych. However, don't dismiss the number 27 seed as a clay court specialist from the 'grass is for cows' school of Iberian tennis thought. 

And he claimed some good scalps on his way to victory in S-Hertogenbosch last week, his first ATP Tour title.

"The deeper you get into a tournament, the more you are going to get tested. You have to be ready and you can't get too down on yourself when it doesn't quite happen," added Murray.

"I'm just happy to come through matches but I will be tested and it could certainly happen in my next match, it can happen at any moment in a tournament.

"It's a step up, he's probably established in the top 20 now and he's improving all the time. He's got the confidence of that win in Holland and he's proven he can play on grass.

"He's not like many Spanish players, he hits the ball very flat without much top spin. I practiced with him quite a bit before Madrid, so I know a fair amount about him."

Meanwhile, Agut insists he's not scared about the prospect of taking on Murray in his backyard.

"We're friends and we've practiced together many times," he said.

"I feel I've a good game for grass. It's not a surface I've had much experience on but I enjoy it and I've got lots of confidence at the moment.

"I'm not scared, the crowd will be with him but that's normal. I'm going to enjoy it and just play my game. I'm winning matches at the moment, so I've got to feel good."

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