AFP - Andy Murray moved into the second round at Wimbledon on Tuesday after winning a tough four-set battle with American Robert Kendrick.
Murray, the third seed who is bidding to become Britain's first men's champion since Fred Perry in 1936, won 7-5, 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-4 and now faces Latvian Ernests Gulbis for a place in the last 32.
The Scot got off to an ideal start, breaking his opponent in the opening game of the match and winning the first 11 points on his own serve to seize an early advantage.
Kendrick levelled things up at 4-4 but Murray broke again to clinch the set in the 12th game of the set.
The second set was dropped on a tiebreak but Murray resumed control of the match when the American double-faulted twice to concede a 4-2 lead in the third.
A match that was much tighter than anyone had expected finally came to a halt after two hours and 38 minutes when Kendrick fired a powerful Murray serve long.
Murray admitted he had not been quite at his best but said he was happy to have been given such a testing workout at an early stage of the tournament.
"It was a tough match -- he served great for two and a half, three sets and he makes it hard for you," Murray said.
"I did not return serve as well as I would have liked to but I was happy with the way I served.
"There were a lot of big points at important moments and it is good to have them early in the tournament.
"He does not give you a lot of rhythm and I did not hit my ground strokes as well as I would have like but it got better as the match went on."