Murray’s 350-day drought over in huge Wimbledon boost
ANDY Murray beat Stan Wawrinka 6-1 6-3 at the Eastbourne International in the second match of his comeback from long-term hip problems.
Murray returned last week at the Queen's Club after 11 months out and lost to Nick Kyrgios in the first round.
Wawrinka's erratic serve proved his downfall as, although he hit eight aces, he double-faulted four times, including on match point.
The Swiss player has also missed much of the past year through injury, including three months before his latest return last month.
Murray's last success came in the fourth round of Wimbledon on July 10, 2017, when he was world No.1.
"I thought the first set I played well, second set was a little bit patchy at times, a bit nervous towards the end," Muray said.
"When you've not played for the best part of a year, closing out the match against someone like Stan, who I've had lots of great matches with, tough, tough guy to play against, was tough. But delighted to get the win."Murray, who had an operation on his hip in January, will be hoping for a few more wins at Eastbourne before the start of his bid to win a third Wimbledon.
He next faces second-seeded Kyle Edmund, who overtook him as the British No.1 while he was injured.
Another Briton is also through to the second round, after Jay Clarke beat Ryan Harrison of the United States 6-4 6-1.
It was the teenager's first ATP Tour win and his first victory over a player in the top 100. Harrison is ranked 58th.
Sixth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain also eased past Matteo Berrettini of Italy 7-5 6-3.
Other winners included Australia's John Millman, American Jared Donaldson and Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.
In the women's draw, defending champion Karolina Pliskova survived a scare to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and reach the third round.
Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, last year's runner-up, had an easier passage as she beat Camila Giorgi 6-2 6-2.
Pliskova had never lost a set to Pavlyuchenkova in five previous meetings but the Czech player struggled in the second set before prevailing 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
The second-seeded Pliskova hit nine aces in the first set and seemed on her way to another comfortable victory.
However, Pavlyuchenkova broke immediately in the second set and, although the Russian was broken back, she broke Pliskova's serve again and two successive errors from her opponent saw her level on sets.
But there was to be no upset as Pliskova broke in the third game of the third set and, after saving a break point in the next game, she never looked back.
Pliskova broke again in the final game, sealing the match when Pavlyuchenkova hit the ball long.
Giorgi won the first two games against Wozniacki but that was to prove a false dawn for the Italian as three successive double faults appeared to shake her confidence and she lost the next six games and the first set, which Wozniacki sealed with a delightful shot down the line.
Wozniacki broke Giorgi at the start of the second set and the Danish player looked in impervious form as she stormed on to take the match, winning when Giorgi hit a forehand into the net.
Former Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska was one of a number playing first- round matches and the Polish player beat Timea Babos 6-3 6-1. Kristina Mladenovic of France beat local hope Heather Watson 6-7 7-5 6-3.