Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury are through to the next round of the Olympics after beating France’s Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in straight sets 6-3 6-2.
The French duo were the number two seeds and one of the favourites to medal at Tokyo 2020, as Murray and his doubles partner laid down a serious statement of intent on the first day of tennis action.
An animated Murray was inspired throughout and the first set was finely balanced until the British duo gave themselves the opportunity to strike the first blow by breaking their rivals’ serve to lead 5-3.
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A service game shut-out secured the first set and Murray and Salisbury continued to harass Mahut and Pierre-Hugues brilliantly on their service games.
They managed to hold serve after a lengthy second game and it was more of the same in the fifth, as Murray and Salisbury again wasted several break points.
Britain's Murray and Salisbury fired up after tweener wins big point
Salisbury produced a beautiful tweener though as Team GB finally broke their opponents to lead 3-2. The British duo never relinquished their grip on the match from there, playing patiently but decisively to win the match.
Salisbury and Murray will take on Germany’s Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz in the second round after they beat Argentina duo Facundo Bagnis and Diego Schwartzman in straight sets.
Murray was a surprise pick for the Olympics after struggling with injuries in recent years. The Scotsman is still finding his way back to full fitness and top form since a hip injury, but Murray has won two gold medals at past Olympics and has a silver medal in mixed doubles.
Meanwhile, Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski also progressed - coming from a set down to beat Argentina's Horacio Zeballos and Andres Molteni 13-11 in a champions tie-break. Jamie was a late replacement in the doubles for Dan Evans, who missed the Games after testing positive for coronavirus.
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