Andy Murray Beats Stan Wawrinka In Eastbourne To Win For First Time In A Year

Britain’s former world number one Andy Murray won his first match in almost a year with an impressive display against fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in Eastbourne.

Andy Murray Beats Stan Wawrinka

Murray, 31, looked sharp and confident in winning 6-1 6-3 in the first round of the Nature Valley International.

The Scot was playing only his second competitive match since Wimbledon last year following hip surgery.

Murray is battling to prove his fitness for Wimbledon, which starts next Monday, and has spoken about needing to see how his body reacts to playing matches in the space of a few days.

Now the two-time Wimbledon champion will find out on Wednesday when he meets Edmund whether he feels up to the prospect of playing five-set matches at his home Grand Slam.

There could potentially be another all-British tie after Jay Clarke beat American Ryan Harrison 6-4 6-1 to earn his first ATP main draw win.

Clarke faces either wildcard Cameron Norrie or German qualifier Daniel Brands in the last 16 of the tournament.

Murray impresses after long road to Eastbourne

Murray and Wawrinka, who is making his own recovery from long-term injury, last faced each other as the world number one and number three in last year’s French Open semi-final at Roland Garros.

At Eastbourne they met in the first round of the ATP 250 event ranked 156th and 225th respectively.

While the stage was not quite as grand, the match was still equally important for two players who find themselves in a very different stage of their successful careers.

Murray was out of competitive action for almost a year with a hip injury, while Wawrinka twice needed surgery to fix a knee problem.

Wawrinka, 33, was missing for six months before returning at the Australian Open in January, then needed another three months out before coming back in Rome last month.

He is further along the recovery cycle than the Briton – who lost to mercurial Australian Nick Kyrgios at Queen’s last week – but you could not tell on a scorching day on the south coast.

Murray was patient and precise throughout, forcing Wawrinka into a number of wild errors, as he again defied expectations.

The Briton won the opening set in less than half an hour after two breaks of serve, taking Wawrinka’s serve again early in the second and saving four break points to lead 5-3.

That edgy service game showed even someone of Murray’s class and stature still has nerves when it comes to closing out what is an important milestone in his recovery.

Although he missed his first match point in the next game, Wawrinka coughed up a double fault to leave Murray beaming as he celebrated his first win since beating France’s Benoit Paire in the Wimbledon last 16.

“Obviously I am very happy to get the win,” said Murray. “I thought the first set I played well, but the second set was patchy and I was a bit nervous.

“When you haven’t played for the best part of a year and you face someone like Stan it is tough.”

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