murray through at the double

Andy Murray on the way to victory over Slovenia's Blaz Rola. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.
Andy Murray on the way to victory over Slovenia's Blaz Rola. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.
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Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic took wildly different routes as the reigning champion and the top seed reached the third round at Wimbledon.

Murray, in the second match of his title defence, dropped just two games in an imperious dismissal of Slovenian Blaz Rola on Court One.

The Scot needed just one hour and 24 minutes to send world number 92 Rola packing, a 6-1 6-1 6-0 victim of a ruthless display.

“You’re going to get tested during the tournament. Sometimes that happens in the first round, and sometimes it can happen in semi-finals,” Murray said. “It can happen at any moment in the tournament. You just have to be ready for it and expect it before every single match.

“I’m happy to come through matches as quickly as possible. Obviously the further you go in the draw, the tougher the matches are going to get.”

The 27-year-old Scot will tackle Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round, after the world number 23 saw off Czech Jan Hernych 7-5 4-6 6-2 6-2.

Djokovic had a first-round stroll on Monday but his second match proved to be one of the challenging matches that Murray warned are lurking at Wimbledon.

The Serbian had to dig deep into his reserves to fend off a determined Radek Stepanek on Centre Court.

Victory against Murray at Queen’s Club two weeks ago marked down 35-year-old Stepanek as a player in form on grass, and Djokovic only squeezed through in the end, a 6-4 6-3 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/5) winner.

Djokovic said: “I was two sets up and had some break-point chances in the third and I should have closed it out in the third set tie-breaker, but credit to him for fighting.

“I was quite focused and tense before the match because I knew what was on the other side of the net. I knew his ability and his quality.

“It was a difficult one but I’m glad I stayed hanging in there mentally and managed to win.”

Grigor Dimitrov had a more comfortable ride. Making his Centre Court debut, the number 11 seed enjoyed a straight-sets triumph over Australian Luke Saville, impressing on his way to a 6-3 6-2 6-4 success.

Latvia’s Ernest Gulbis, the 12th seed, lost out to world number 90 Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7/5). A year ago, Ukrainian Stakhovsky caused a sensation on the opening Wednesday of Wimbledon by beating Roger Federer, and he made sure to mark the anniversary in style.

Sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych had his difficulties but scraped a 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/3) 6-1 victory over Australian Bernard Tomic.

Spain’s David Ferrer was a quarter-finalist in 2012 and 2013 but the seventh seed’s tournament this year was ended surprisingly early by Russian Andrey Kuznetsov, who claimed the notable scalp by prevailing 6-7 (5/7) 6-0 3-6 6-3 6-2 on Court Two.

Another seed bumped out on day three was Russian Mikhail Youzhny, as qualifier Jimmy Wang earned a rousing 7-6 (7/1) 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 triumph against the quarter-finalist of two years ago. Youzhny was seeded 17th this time but could not handle the world number 147 from Chinese Taipei who won three preliminary matches to reach the main draw.