Murray plays down impact of Nadal's shock Wimbledon exit

24 June 2013 / 20:27

Andy Murray did his best to appear unperturbed and unshaken as the shockwaves of Rafael Nadal's surprise first round exit reverberated around the All England Club.

Second seed Murray certainly benefits from the two-time champion's surprise 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 loss to lowly ranked Belgian Steve Darcis, his first-ever defeat in a Grand Slam first round.

But last year's beaten finalist insisted it made no real difference to his overall Wimbledon campaign, after a regulation 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win over Germany's Benjamin Becker.

After all if the tournament goes with seedings he still needs to beat Jo Wilfried Tsonga, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

"I think Rafa's match is pretty irrelevant," said Murray, who now has the most successful Grand Slam record of any British player in history.

"I'm going to have to win four more matches before I was even thinking about playing Rafa.

"It's surprising but the consistency he has shown in the Slams in the last few years was always going to be difficult to keep up.

"I heard the murmuring in the crowd and I was aware of what was happening in his match but I wasn't thinking very much about it.

"As a fan of tennis it is disappointing he is out because he brings a lot to every tournament he plays in and he's one of the best players ever. 

"But I'm not here to worry about other players, I just need to take care of my matches one at a time."

Murray will now face Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu - who beat him in the first round at the 2008 Beijing Olympics - after he battled past James Ward to prevent an all-British second round encounter.

But the British number two will rue missing a set point to take a 2-1 lead and spurning three break points late in the fourth set, as he went down 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 7-6.

"That loss at the Olympics was a very tough loss for me and he has made the quarters here before and he plays well on grass, so I need to be ready," added Murray.

Murray's win aside it was not a good day for British tennis at Wimbledon. Indeed, Ward was the only home player of the other six in action to actually win a set.

Promising teenager Kyle Edmund lasted just 87 minutes on his Grand Slam debut as he lost 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 by 14th seed Jerzy Janowicz.

Former British number one Anne Keothavong's troubled season continued as she went down tamely 6-4, 6-0 to Spain's Garbine Muguruza while Elena Baltacha, Samantha Murray and Johanna Konta also crashed out in straight sets.

The remaining three British players in the singles draw will look to improve on that record on Tuesday.

World number 38 Laura Robson, returning to the scene of her Olympic mixed doubles silver medal, will look to shake off her recent rusty form against tenth seed Maria Kirilenko on court one, while British number two Heather Watson opens up proceedings on court two against American Madison Keys.

And national number five and world number 194 Tara Moore will make her Wimbledon singles debut against Estonia's Kaia Kanepi.

© Sportsbeat 2013