Andy Murray came onto Centre Court to a standing ovation and walked off to another as he began his Wimbledon title defence with a straight-set victory against David Goffin.
In keeping with tradition, Murray had the honour of playing the opening match on Centre Court as the defending men’s champion, and he looked right at home in beating the 105th-ranked Belgian 6-1, 6-4, 7-5.
We played some great rallies, he came up with some unbelievable passing shots. I was glad to finish it in three.
Murray broke Goffin four times, saved the only two break points against him and sealed the contest with an ace, his eighth of the match. It was Murray’s 450th tour-level match win.
Last year, Murray became the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years. Now he is bidding to become the first to retain the title since Fred Perry in 1936.
“It was a very high standard of match, he was maybe a little nervous at the beginning,” Murray said. “But in the second and third sets I thought the standard was very high. We played some great rallies, he came up with some unbelievable passing shots. I was glad to finish it in three.”
Murray’s new coach, former women’s champion Amelie Mauresmo, sat in the front row of the guest box but showed little emotion throughout the match.
Murray was on top of his game from the outset, sailing through the first set in 29 minutes, and closing out the second with an ace.
Djokovic through unchallenged
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic easily advanced to the second round at Wimbledon with a 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 win over Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan.
Djokovic, who lost in last year’s Wimbledon final to Andy Murray, needed only 1 hour, 28 minutes to complete the win on Centre Court.
He did not face a break point and served seven aces.
Among other winners on a cloudy opening day was sixth-seeded and 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych, who beat Victor Hanescu 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.
In women’s play, former top-ranked Victoria Azarenka won her first match in five months, defeating 1999 Wimbledon semi-finalist Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-3, 7-5.
Former US Open champion Sam Stosur and 18th-seeded American Sloane Stephens were among the first-round losers.