Andy Murray made the perfect start to his bold venture with new coach Amelie Mauresmo on Wednesday as the Wimbledon champion opened his Aegon Championships title defence at Queen’s Club with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Paul-Henri Mathieu.
The 27-year-old’s decision to ignore several high-profile male coaches to hire Mauresmo, a former world No. 1 and Wimbledon champion, has been the talk of the sport for the last three days.
In the circumstances, a routine second round victory at this Wimbledon warm-up was exactly the kind of first date the pair needed as Murray, bidding to win Queen’s for a record-equalling fourth time, proved far too strong for world No. 92 Mathieu.
Since losing to Roger Federer in the 2012 Wimbledon final, Murray has been unstoppable on grass and his winning run, which brought him Olympic gold, a first Wimbledon crown and a third Queen’s title, has now extended to 19 matches.
Murray will next meet 15th seed Radek Stepanek, who defeated Australian Bernard Tomic 7-6(4), 7-6(5).
Inevitably there wasn’t a spare seat to be had on the main show-court in west London for the eagerly-anticipated beginning of the Murray-Mauresmo partnership.
Elsewhere in the second round, former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt’s bid to win a record fifth Queen’s crown ended with 6-3, 6-4 defeat against Spanish 10th seed Feliciano Lopez.
Hingis gets wildcard
Former world No. 1 Martina Hingis has been awarded a wildcard for the Wimbledon doubles competition as she continues her second comeback following her retirement in 2007. The 33-year-old will partner Russia’s Vera Zvonareva at the All England Club.
At Halle (ATP Gerry Weber Open): Second round: Kei Nishikori bt Gael Monfils 6-1, 3-6, 6-3; Philipp Kohlschreiber bt Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 6-4; Alejandro Falla bt Robin Haase 7-6(1), 6-4.
At London (ATP Aegon Championships): Second round: Stanislas Wawrinka bt Marcos Baghdatis 3-2 (retd.); Alexandr Dolgopolov bt Denis Istomin 7-6(3) 7-6(7); Jarkko Nieminen bt Dmitry Tursunov 7-6(3), 7-6(3); Andy Murray bt Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-4; Radek Stepanek bt Bernard Tomic 7-6(4), 7-6(5); Kenny De Schepper bt Ernests Gulbis 7-6(3), 7-5; Feliciano Lopez bt Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-4; Tomas Berdych bt James Duckworth 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-4.
At Birmingham (WTA Aegon Classic): Second round: Zhang Shuai bt Shahar Peer 6-3, 3-6, 6-2; Samantha Stosur bt Christina Mchale 6-1, 6-3; Kimiko Date-Krumm bt Monica Puig 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(7); Sloane Stephens bt Francesca Schiavone 6-2, 6-4; Ana Ivanovic bt Mona Barthel 6-4, 6-1; Lauren Davis bt Victoria Duval 6-2, 2-6, 6-2; Daniela Hantuchova bt Belinda Bencic 6-1, 6-4.