Tennis Expert & Columnist
Andy Murray's win over Alexander Bublik at Wimbledon was 'encouraging', says Barry Cowan
"Like Bublik, Dustin will give Murray some free points and you can't afford to do that"
Last Updated: 03/08/17 10:29pm
Andy Murray showed "encouraging signs" during his opening victory at Wimbledon and his next opponent Dustin Brown will be a "comfortable match up", believes Barry Cowan.
The defending champion came through the first test of his recent hip problems with flying colours as he dispatched lucky loser Alexander Bublik to reach the second round in an hour and 44 minutes.
I only see positives. He won comfortably, he played well, but we still don't know. He hasn't been tested and his walking was a little suspect
Barry Cowan on Andy Murray
Murray continued to limp between points early on, as he had since resuming practice on Friday, but when it mattered his movement was just one of the things he did well in a 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory, and Cowan was left highly impressed.
"If you look at that match alone, forget what's gone on before with his lack of grass-court preparation, the doubts over his fitness, I thought he looked really good," said the Sky Sports tennis analyst.
"I thought his focus was very good, and considering he's only played the one match on the surface he looked sharp. His reactions were good, his decision-making skills were brilliant - I thought it was really encouraging.
"We won't really tell [about his hip] until we get a match that's really physical, when we get long rallies. From all accounts it was a lot better over the weekend and when you look at his draw he'll have another week before the last 16.
"I only see positives. He won comfortably, he played well, but we still don't know. He hasn't been tested and his walking was a little suspect. I saw him on the practice courts, but then I thought he moved great [during the match]."
Murray: My hip felt good
Andy Murray insists his "hip felt good" and says he will be ready for showman Dustin Brown next
The 30-year-old will now tackle the unorthodox player in Brown on Wednesday in what should be another entertaining encounter, although Cowan feels Murray will come through it comfortably.
"It's a comfortable match up," he said. "We have to look at it in simple terms that Murray likes players like that.
"Dustin will bring a lot of flare, Dustin will play some great points, Dustin will play some great games, but as we saw in his match against Bublik, that like Bublik, Dustin will give Murray some free points and you can't afford to do that.
"You have to play really tight, mentally, and I think it will be nice for him to play the same type of player."
Barry Cowan was speaking to Raz Mirza at Wimbledon. For those on the move, we will have Wimbledon covered via our website skysports.com/tennis and then click through to our dedicated section skysports.com/tennis/wimbledon. On the move? Head to our app for mobile devices and iPad, or follow our Twitter account @SkySportsTennis to join in the conversation. Who will win the All England Club titles this summer? Have your say...