London: Former world number one Andy Murray made a victorious return to Wimbledon, where he won two of his three Grand Slam singles titles, partnering Pierre-Hugues Herbert to a four-set win in their first round doubles match.
The 32-year-old Scotsman, who could become the first Wimbledon men’s singles champion since Michael Stich in 1992 to also win the doubles title, returned to tennis only a fortnight ago after what he called life-changing hip surgery.
He and Herbert, who has won all four Slam doubles titles, gelled as the match went on and beat Romanian Marius Copil and Frenchman Ugo Humbert 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 on Court One.
“It was nice,” said Murray. “I mean I was a little bit nervous at the start (he lost his opening service game) but got better as match went on.
“It was a really nice atmosphere at the end with the new roof closed the crowd make more noise.
“Great to get the win.”
Murray, who made a dream return to the sport with a doubles title win at Queen’s alongside Feliciano Lopez, said that having not played with Herbert before it had taken time to click.
“It is tough but as the match went on we got more comfortable and were reading each others games better.
“As it went on we set each other up with great returns and moved well at the net.”
Herbert, who angered his usual partner Nicolas Mahut by opting to play with Murray, smiled when asked what marks he would give Murray for his performance.
“It is tough to give a mark to Andy as he won here in singles and that is much harder than winning in doubles,” said the Frenchman.
“He played well as the match went on and by the end we were much more of a team.”