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Updated: June 24, 2010 23:50 IST

Murray canters past Nieminen into third round

DPA
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Andy Murray acknowledges the crowd after beating Jarkko Nieminen at the All England lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon on Thursday.
AP Andy Murray acknowledges the crowd after beating Jarkko Nieminen at the All England lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon on Thursday.

Scot Andy Murray turned in a command performance on court as Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II made her first visit to Wimbledon in more than three decades in time for her subject’s 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Jarkko Nieminen on Thursday.

The bemused Nieminen, a proud Finn from one of northern Europe’s strongest democracies, played along with the ancient pomp and ceremony demanded under British royal protocol.

Both players looked only slightly out of their element as they dropped their bulging tennis bags and bowed — somewhat stiffly — to the Centre court Royal Box before and after the match which sent Murray safely into the third round.

Nieminen was no stranger to the Wimbledon big stage, losing to former hero Tim Henman in the 2005 first round. “I like the atmosphere. It’s maybe the best court in the world,” he said. “My playing in front of the queen was big news at home. It doesn’t happen every day and it’s a big honour to be in front of her.” Fourth seed Murray made a breakthrough for the semi-finals a year ago and will next face Frenchman Gilles Simon, who advanced when Ukranian opponent Illya Marchenko was unable to continue with a shoulder injury.

The Queen seemed entertained by the contest which ended in Murray’s favour after just over 90 minutes, with the Scot slamming 18 aces and breaking his 67{+t}{+h}-ranked opponent on four occasions.

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