Andy Murray beats Stan Wawrinka 6-1 6-3 for first victory since Wimbledon last year
Murray will face Kyle Edmund next after seeing off Wawrinka in 77 minutes
By Paul Prenderville
Last Updated: 26/06/18 6:05am
Andy Murray earned a first victory in almost a year by beating Stan Wawrinka in the first round of the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne.
Last week, Murray returned to the court for the first time since last year's Wimbledon with a strong showing despite defeat to Nick Kyrgios at Queen's, and on Monday he followed up with a first victory since beating Benoit Paire in SW19.
Murray raced to the first set against his fellow wild card recipient, but was made to work harder in the second as Wawrinka's feared backhand began to motor - but a crucial early break for Murray was enough to see him over the line.
Only in games six and eight of the second set did Murray's serve come under real pressure, with Wawrinka earning four break points in the eighth, but Murray's consistency in keeping the ball in play eventually forced the errors to help him hold.
The three-time Grand Slam champion has slipped to No 156 in the world rankings on the back of almost a year off with a long-standing hip injury, but he moved well once again on his way to a win that sets up a second-round meeting with British No 1 Kyle Edmund.
Murray, the former world No 1, has won each of the two previous meetings with Edmund, but both of those came in 2016. Edmund reached his first Grand Slam semi-final in Australia earlier this year.
Speaking after the match, Murray said: "I'm very happy to get the win. I thought I played well in the first set, the second set was a bit patchy but when you've not played for the best part of year, trying to close out the match against a player like Stan was tough, but I was happy to get it done."
Of his game with Edmund, he added: "Kyle's been fantastic," added Murray. "Not just this year, but at the end of last year. He's a great player and he's improving all the time.
"He's getting close to the top of the game which is a credit to him, so I'm expecting a tough one and I'll try my best."
Earlier in the day, British teenager Jay Clarke chalked up a hugely impressive 6-4 6-1 victory over American world No 58 Ryan Harrison.
Clarke, who was handed a lucky-loser's spot, responded with arguably the performance of his career to beat Harrison and earn a showdown with either Daniel Brands or Cameron Norrie.
Sixth-seed David Ferrer eased through with victory over Italian qualifier Matteo Berrettini and Gilles Muller was shocked by Australia's John Millman who came through in three sets on the South Coast.
We will keep you up to date with all the news ahead of Wimbledon including our live blogs once the action gets underway on July 2.
Our next tennis action comes from the German Open in Hamburg. Watch the action live on Sky Sports Arena from Monday, July 23 from 10am.
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