Andy Murray hopes his victory over Alexander Bublik will prove good preparation for a second-round clash with another member of tennis’ awkward squad.
Murray coped very well with everything Bublik threw at him, including plenty of drop shots, huge second serves, a tweener and a diving volley.
The world number one can expect more of the latter when he takes on Dustin Brown, the flamboyant Jamaican-German who stunned Rafael Nadal in the second round two years ago.
“He plays a similar way (to Bublik) in terms of being pretty unpredictable, going for different shots, a lot of power,” said Murray.
“Dustin plays a lot more up at the net than Bublik. He tends to come out with some great shots. He’s a very entertaining guy to watch.
“He’s a great mover, a really, really good athlete. He’s a good personality, as well. I know Dustin pretty well. We get on well with each other. We message each other from time to time.
“He’s unpredictable. He’s going to go for it. Also you know he hits a lot of drop shots. He can play slice. Sometimes he hits two first serves, goes for a huge second serve. It’s not easy to play players like that.
“He’s obviously had a big win here in the past against Rafa. I’m going to go out on the court expecting to play great tennis, give it a good shot. I’ll need to be ready.”
Murray’s performance against Bublik was hugely reassuring after the doubts over his form and fitness heading into the tournament.
The right hip remains a little sore but is not troubling him during points, with Murray subjecting himself to two ice baths a day in an attempt to keep the pain at bay.
Everything in the Scot’s game worked pretty well against Bublik, who managed just seven games.
It was certainly a more comfortable start to Wimbledon than the French Open five weeks ago, when Murray dropped sets in his opening two matches as he worked himself back into form.
The 30-year-old thought it might be the same here, but said: “Obviously clay is a surface that I’ve done well on the last couple years, but it’s not my most natural surface.
“If I’m not feeling confident, I haven’t won a lot of matches, I’m not feeling great, then that one’s going to feel a little bit worse. I’ll be a bit more nervous going into a tournament than maybe this one where I know I didn’t have many matches.
“I love playing on Centre Court, I feel really comfortable out there.”
Murray was back on the practice court on Tuesday for a 90-minute session, the majority of which was spent hitting with 18-year-old British hope Jay Clarke.
There were a few grimaces and stretches of the hip, and the now familiar limp was in evidence again, but Murray was able to complete all his drills.
Wimbledon has been Brown’s best grand slam with the 32-year-old reaching the third round twice, most famously of course with that stunning win over Nadal in 2015.
He is expecting a similar experience against Murray, who won easily in their only previous meeting at the US Open seven years ago.
“Obviously it’s an honour playing against him,” said Brown. “I’m going to have to try and play the same way (as against Nadal), play aggressive. It’s tough. Andy is one of the best returners out there.
“I feel like the balls are a lot slower and it’s not making it as easy to play aggressive and play only serve and volley.
“I’m just going to have to try and find a way to be aggressive and try and not have him play the type of game he wants to play, take him out of his comfort zone.”
* Story provided by Press Association, video provided by Wimbledon.com
Ex-world No1 Jelena Jankovic has a brutal Wimbledon first round against Agnieszka Radwanska on Tuesday.
Ahead of the action, Sport360 caught up with the charismatic Serbian at the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party to find out some quirky facts about her.
Who would she like to play her in a movie? What’s her biggest fear and what would be her hidden talent?
The awesome ‘JJ’ tells all in this Rapid Fire Round.
Also watch her try to articulate what her relationship with grass has been like over the years in this video.
Swiss fifth seed and French Open runner-up Stan Wawrinka was knocked out of Wimbledon in the first round by Russia’s Daniil Medvedev on Monday, losing 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
World No49 Medvedev, making his Wimbledon debut, goes on to face Belgian qualifier Ruben Bemelmans for a place in the last 32.
It was Wawrinka’s sixth first round loss at the All England Club, although his efforts were hampered by a left knee injury which required an ice pack at the changeovers.
It also meant that 33-year-old Wawrinka’s hopes of becoming just the sixth man to complete the career Grand Slam were ended for another year.
Having lost in the first round at Queen’s Club last month, Wawrinka’s grass-court campaign amounted to two matches and two defeats.
“I wasn’t feeling the way I wanted to feel. But play against a great player who I think was confident today, was playing well, was playing faster. Was a tough loss,” said Wawrinka, who had a chance of taking the world No1 ranking from Andy Murray this fortnight but needed to win the Wimbledon title to do so.
“For sure was a bad grass court two tournament for me. That’s clear. First one was not what I wanted. Unfortunately it’s like that. I had some problem with the knee since Queen’s, so was not the way I wanted to get ready for this tournament.
“Today was tough. I was expecting to feel a little bit better. When I play a player that level, it’s difficult to win. He went for it, was playing well, so it was a tough, tough day.”
For 21-year-old Medvedev, it was a first win at the Grand Slam level, coming on the back of an impressive grass court season.
He made the semi-finals in Eastbourne last week where it took Novak Djokovic to stop him, as well as the quarter-finals at ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Queen’s.
“A year ago I was ranked 250. If someone told me in one year I would win on Centre Court I would tell you you are joking,” said Medvedev, who kissed the grass of Centre Court to celebrate his victory.
He later added in his press conference: “First of all, it’s my first Grand Slam win. So even I guess if I didn’t beat Stan, it would be one of the biggest wins in my life.
“My first top-10 win. I have no words to describe this. I guess this memory will be with me forever.”