Rio 2016: Andy Murray begins his defence with a straight sets win over Viktor Troicki

Andy Murray booked his safe passage into the second round of the Olympic Tennis event in Rio after he safely navigated his way past Serbia’s Viktor Troicki in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 on Centre Court in Brazil.

The defending Olympic and Wimbledon Champion, who carried the flag for Great Britain at the game’s opening ceremony on Friday night, will have felt confident heading into the first round encounter having never lost to his opponent, winning all seven matches against Troicki. The pair last met in the Queen’s Club semifinal in 2015, with the Brit winning 6-3, 7-6(4).

Murray makes a slow start

Murray made a slow start to his defense in Rio as the Brit faced a break point immediately in front of a sparsely populated Rio crowd, with many taking a breather after the conclusion of Serena Williams match. The world number two saved the first, but a double fault left him having to try to save another, which he could not achieve as a cross-court forehand went wide.

As expected, the reigning Olympic champion responded instantly, racing to 0-40 on the Serb’s serve. Troicki saved the first point but missed an easy overhead smashed long beyond the baseline to relinquish his early advantage.

The Brit was down 15-30 once again in his next service game, but he recovered to hold serve for the first time in the match. Murray then had a chance to secure a second break of serve before the Serb snuffed out the chance after hitting an unreturnable first serve before holding for 2-2.

Murray described the honor of carrying the flag for Great Britain at the opening ceremony as the biggest moment and highlight of his career. Photo: Getty
Murray described the honor of carrying the flag for Great Britain at the opening ceremony as the biggest moment and highlight of his career. Photo: Getty

The champion takes charge

In the sixth game, Murray squandered three further break point chances as he produced unforced errors. The Brit, who led the pairs head to head 7-0, was not to be denied for a fourth time, breaking to take a 4-2 lead on Centre Court.

The second seed fell behind 0-30 on serve as he looked to be in trouble once again, but responded well to move 5-2 in front. Troicki forced the Brit to serve out the opening set, but the Olympic champion had no problems, holding to love to seal the set 6-3 in 46 minutes.

The second seed improves in set number two

Murray’s momentum continued at the beginning of the second set, breaking in the third game on his second break point opportunity. The world number two moved even further in front as he broke once again to take a 4-1 lead as Troicki looked a beaten man.

When serving for the match, Great Britain’s flag bearer at the games moved up 30-0, but then produced three successive errors to fall break point down. Troicki went to attack Murray’s second serve but could only find the net before the Brit moved to match point. The world number two wrapped up the match with an unreturnable first serve to secure a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 victory.

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