Andy Murray has won his opening match on his return to Wimbledon singles, seeing off Nikoloz Basilashvili in an exciting encounter on Centre Court.
The Scot, who has been dogged by injury over the last year, showed his enduring class to take a two-set lead, and seemed to have the third set in hand but his Georgian opponent dug deep and a complete collapse from Murray let Basilashvili make it 2-1 and turn the pressure up on the two-time champion.
That forced a delay while they closed the roof to allow for a late finish but Murray found his earlier form, moving in front and not letting his opponent gain another foothold before wrapping up a win under the lights.
In his on-court interview, he said: “It’s amazing to be back out here playing again on Centre Court. It’s such a brilliant atmosphere and that’s something that since I came back I really missed was playing in front of the fans.
“I did well to win the the fourth set in the end because that was mentally not easy going back to the locker room after losing the third.
“I was just really disappointed I’d lost the third and I had to remember what it was I was doing that was winning the match. I cut out some of the drop shots, managed to serve a bit better and turned it around.”
Murray will now have a day off to recover before his second round, with Oscar Otte or Arthur Rinderknech awaiting him. the pair were locked at 9-9 in the deciding set before play was halted on Monday.
On his struggles of the last four years, Murray said: “It’s been extremely rough. Even these last few months, I didn’t have the most serious of injuries but it was extremely frustrating not being able to get on court.
“I kept trying, kept working hard, doing all the right things to get me back in this position. I feel very lucky I get to do it again.
“I keep getting asked if this is going to be my last Wimbledon, last match. No. I’m going to keep playing. I want to play. I’m enjoying it. I can still play at the highest level. He’s ranked 28 in the world. I’ve hardly played any matches and I beat him.”