British tennis star, Andy Murray has pulled through his first match on the court after the ordeal of a career-saving hip operation with an impressive victory in the Queen’s doubles.
The pair won 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 against Colombian top seeds Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal.
“It was brilliant. I enjoyed it a lot,” Murray told BBC Sport. “I was a bit slow at the beginning and got better as the match went on.
“I’m fortunate to be back playing again.
“Leading up to the match I was quite relaxed but I was a bit nervous when we started walking to the court. You want the nerves and the butterflies in the stomach and I had that.
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For three-time Grand Slam champion, Murray, this was not about the result. This was simply about whether his new metal hip could stand up to the rigours of competitive tennis.
The Scottish man could not hide his delight in clinching victory over one of the world’s best doubles pairs at the west London club.
Murray’s face cracked into a broad grin as a return into the net secured the match, Lopez then standing back on the sideline to allow the former world number one to take the acclaim of an adoring crowd.
“I learnt quite a bit tonight,” added Murray. “I expected to be the worst player and to not feel particularly good on the court, which was probably the case in the first set.
“But then I think I started to play better in the second and started to serve a bit better, see the returns a little bit better and things.
“I have zero discomfort in my hip after the match. Nothing. And if I had not done this last year, I’d be here aching, throbbing, and feel bad the next day.
“So I’ll just keep pushing and see how it goes. But I feel optimistic about the future. I don’t know how long it will take to get to that level, but, hopefully not too long.”
Those who had not already secured tickets in advance queued up outside the gates for resales, meaning Centre Court was largely full when play started about 18:45 BST.
Every winner was met with encouraging cheers and hearty applause, with Murray’s wife Kim cheering him on from the front row along with coach Jamie Delgado and other key members of his team.
Most importantly, the two-time Wimbledon singles champion moved freely and was limp free, showing a sharpness perhaps many did not expect to see from a player at his stage of recovery.
By Kayode Oniwinde