LONDON - Andy Murray warmed up for the start of his Wimbledon title defence with an emphatic victory over Spain's Tommy Robredo at the Hurlingham Club yesterday.
Murray's preparations for the grasscourt grand slam had suffered a setback when he was surprisingly beaten in the third round at Queen's Club by Czech veteran Radek Stepanek last week, a defeat that ended his 19-match winning run on grass.
But the Scot looked back in the groove as he dispatched world number 22 Robredo 6-2 7-6 (7-1) in the exhibition event.
It was another pre-Wimbledon boost for the 27-year-old, who heard earlier in the week that he will be seeded third in the grand slam due to his good record on grass, even though he is currently ranked fifth in the world.
Murray's Wimbledon campaign will get underway on Monday when he walks on to Centre Court as the first British male defending singles champion since Fred Perry.
It is certain to be a pressure-packed fortnight, especially as his partnership with new coach Amelie Mauresmo will be closely scrutinised.
With few other leading men coached by women, Murray's move has raised eyebrows in the tennis world, but the Scot is happy to be able to pick the brains of former Wimbledon winner Mauresmo about the experience of defending the title.
"It's important at the beginning, when you go out and walk onto the court, to try to enjoy that feeling, because it's something I've never experienced before, it will be a proud moment to come back as defending champion," Murray said.