Andy Murray in winning return to Wimbledon

Andy Murray made a winning return to Wimbledon alongside Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round of the men’s doubles.

Andy Murray celebrates in front of the fans after winning his doubles match.
Andy Murray celebrates in front of the fans after winning his doubles match.

Five months after the former world No 1 underwent hip surgery and wondered if he would ever play professional tennis again, Murray and his French partner defeated Ugo Humbert and Marius Copil 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-0.

Having started slowly in their first match as a pair, Murray and Herbert improved rapidly and showed enough over the final three sets to indicate they could go a long way in this tournament.

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Murray said: “It was nice. I was a little bit nervous at the start but obviously got better as the match went on. Really nice atmosphere at the end, the new roof is brilliant. The crowd make a bit more noise it seems. It was great to get the win.”

Andy Murray and doubles partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

The cheer that greeted Murray’s arrival on Court One was loud and heartfelt, although it was a shame more people had not stayed in their seats to welcome back Britain’s greatest striker of a fuzzy yellow ball.

The fans on Henman Hill next door were still glued to the sporting theatre taking place on Centre between Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal, giving this something of a sideshow feel.

Herbert is a top-class doubles player, having won all four grand-slam titles with his regular partner Nicolas Mahut, who was rather miffed to see his fellow Frenchman pop up with Murray having decided primarily to focus on singles this season.

On paper, it was a strong partnership, but there were concerns over a thigh problem for Herbert while Murray, who won the title at Queen’s Club with Feliciano Lopez in his first tournament back, admitted their first practice session together was not a success.

In the early stages they certainly looked like a duo still learning how to play with each other.

Copil, who sent serves booming down at up to 140mph, and Humbert deservedly took the first set but the weak link was the serve of the 21-year-old Frenchman.

He was broken for a second time to start the second set, and there was a reminder that this was Andy Murray, one of sport’s great competitive animals, when he yelled ‘come on’ after saving a break point to hold for 3-0.

From there, the Scottish-French pair seized control of the match.

Murray now turns his attention to the mixed doubles, where he is due to partner Serena Williams today.