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Andy Murray Victory Leads British Charge At Wimbledon

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Andy Murray won his first round match in three sets
Andy Murray won his first round match in three sets

Andy Murray roared to victory in his first Wimbledon match, putting the icing on the cake of Britain's most successful first round since 2006.

The 25-year-old, whose girlfriend Kim Sears watched his game, beat former world number three Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets in the first-round game on centre court on Tuesday.

Afterwards, the Scot said: "I just wanted to go out there today, play well, keep my focus, and not worry about the other stuff that goes on off the court around this time of the year... time to let the tennis do the talking."

Murray joins fellow Briton James Ward, who made it through to the second round of Wimbledon for the first time after he beat Spain's Pablo Andujar in five sets.

In the women's tournament, Elena Baltacha recovered from a set down to beat Italy's Karin Knapp and Anne Keothavong made it through to round two after a two sets win over Spain's Laura Pous-Tio. They join Heather Watson who celebrated her first Wimbledon win on Monday night.

The Lawn Tennis Association said it was the best start since 2006, when Britain got seven players through to the second round.

Jamie Baker's match against American Andy Roddick was suspended until Wednesday.

Other Britons were not so lucky. Laura Robson was left "really disappointed" after former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone came from one set down to beat her.

Naomi Broady, 22, also left the grand slam stage after losing to Lourdes Dominguez Lino.

The pair followed fellow Britons Josh Goodall and Oli Golding, who were both knocked out of the tournament yesterday.

But fans were left elated after the Scot swept to victory. Crowds flocked to Murray Mount to watch the match.

Sue Tippett and son Pete Cooper travelled from Romsey in Hampshire to watch the game.

Dr Tippett, a semi-retired GP, is membership secretary of her local tennis club, and said they had come to watch Murray.

"He looked very fit for once, because usually he seems to be nursing some sort of injury or looking as if something is going to go horribly wrong.

"His first match there looked quite a clinical dispatch of the Russian who after about half an hour looked like he wanted to go home."

She predicted the British number one would at least make it to the semi-finals, while son Pete, 18, put the muted reaction down to the early stage of the match and because it was "such an easy game".

Dr Tippett, who tries to come to Wimbledon every year, said Britain's success today showed more of an effort was being made to promote grass roots tennis in England.

"The LTA have at long last begun to try and build the support at grass roots level so people will start to come through."

Sarah Powell, 33, and sister Victoria Hawley, 28, both from London, came after work and caught Murray's match.

Mrs Powell said: "To be honest we're not really Murray fans, but it's great to see a Brit have some success. I'd happily see him through to the semis."

David Broom, 60, from South Africa, came to the grand slam with son Adrian, 34, who lives in Devon.

Despite not being British, they were celebrating Murray's success.

"We didn't watch the full game but we're very glad that the local hopeful is still in," Mr Broom said.

Murray's victory came after his mother Judy Murray said the 25-year-old "wears his heart on his sleeve" but has grown in experience, especially through seeing the behaviour of his rivals.

She told the Daily Telegraph: "He has learned a lot over the years, through playing and through observing the other top players, how they behave and how they handle the demands that are on them.

"I think he wears his heart on his sleeve and it's just part of what makes him what he is.

"But you have to be careful not to show your opponent too much about what you're feeling. He is experienced now, but you can't change who you are."

After a dry day yesterday, rain stopped play a few times at the southwest London club, with some showers predicted tomorrow.

Second seed Rafael Nadal saw off the challenge from Thomaz Bellucci while Serena Williams beat Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova on the same court where her sister Venus fell yesterday, claiming a straight-sets victory.

Heather Watson is the only Briton on court on Wednesday, playing her second round match against Jamie Lee Hampton.

World number one Novak Djokovic will continue his campaign, taking on Ryan Harrison on centre court, while Roger Federer will play Fabio Fognini.

Maria Sharapova will play Tsvetana Pironkova on number one court.