AEGON CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014
Murray Opens Campaign; Gulbis, Hewitt Beaten
The Queen's Club, London, England
by ATP Staff|
Playing his first match with Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach, Andy Murray opened his title defence at the Aegon Championships with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Paul-Henri Mathieu on Wednesday at The Queen’s Club.
The Scot, who reached the Roland Garros semi-finals for the second time last week (l. to Nadal), converted two of his seven break point chances and won 75 per cent of his service points to claim victory in 87 minutes. Murray improved to 6-0 in their FedEx ATP Head series and has only ever lost one set to the Frenchman.
Watch Murray-Mathieu Highlights
Talking about the input from Mauresmo, Murray said, "We spoke a bit about the match and the tactics and then chatted a little bit afterwards. But this week there's not going to be any big changes in my game. I also wouldn't expect any before Wimbledon.
"We'll definitely work on some things after the tournament is finished here. We will chat about the stuff that I will be working on over the next few days, and then when I get the chance to after the tournament is finished here, I'll get four or five days of practice where I can work on some things."
Since his loss to Roger Federer in the 2012 Wimbledon final, the 27-year-old Murray has won 19 consecutive matches on grass, winning a gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012 before clinching the titles at Queen’s and Wimbledon in 2013. He was the seventh man since 1979 to complete the Queen's-Wimbledon title double in the same year.
Murray goes on to face No. 15 seed Radek Stepanek, who hit eight aces as he edged Bernard Tomic 7-6(4), 7-6(5) in one hour and 44 minutes.
In his first week as a Top 10 player, Ernests Gulbis suffered a setback at the start of his grass-court campaign as he was beaten in the second round. World No. 66 Kenny De Schepper, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon last year, beat the Latvian 7-6(3), 7-5 in 78 minutes.
De Schepper saved all six break points he faced as he notched his fifth tour-level win of the season. The 27-year-old Frenchman is coming off a quarter-final showing at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Nottingham last week.
"Honestly I didn't feel I played that bad," said Gulbis. "I hit the ball pretty well on the racquet. Moving was bad, but he served incredible. I mean, I had six break points the first set. You have to give the guy credit. He served really, really well in important points. What can I do?"
De Schepper goes on to face 10th seed Feliciano Lopez, who upset four-time former champion Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-4. It was the left-hander’s first win in five attempts against Hewitt, who dropped to a 40-11 tournament record.
"It was just frustrating," said Hewitt. "I played a bit of a loose game the second game of the match. Then he served really well the whole match. He had a lot better rhythm today than he did yesterday in his first round match. I just couldn't quite get enough pressure on his service games and he hit his spots really well."