Andy Murray relished the chance to be back playing in front of his home fans again as he saw off qualifier Yen-Hsun Lu at Queen's Club – although the British number one was the first to admit he will have to raise his game if he wants to take the title.
Just over ten days after losing out to Novak Djokovic in the semi-final of the French Open, Murray opened his grass court season with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Lu.
But having demonstrated his increasing prowess on clay this year, Murray suggested he was still adapting to the new surface on Tuesday despite coming through in one hour and 19 minutes.
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Ranked 63rd in the world, Lu put up a valiant battle against Murray – a player he had beaten once previously at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
He broke serve in game five with a running forehand but Murray responded immediately to break back and eventually take the opening set.
The Scot then battled from a 2-0 deficit to take the second set and with it the match to set up a second round encounter with Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.
"It was nice. It's always a pleasure to come back here," said Murray.
"I'm glad I managed to get the win. I felt like I moved pretty well. I felt I didn't start serving so well. But I felt I hit the ball well from the back of the court.
"I had a great match with Verdasco at Wimbledon in the past. He is an extremely dangerous player who plays extremely well on the grass. I will have to be ready for him."
Andy Murray in action at Queen's
Image credit: AFP
Murray is ranked as the top seed at Queen's this year and will be chasing a fourth title at the event this week.
Despite the shock early exit of Rafael Nadal earlier in the day, he will still have a battle on his hands if he wants to lift the trophy.
Although the 28-year-old double Grand Slam winner and Olympic champion insisted he was much better equipped to deal with the pressure nowadays.
"There's more demands on your time away from the court, but you get to play in front of packed stadiums. In all sports it's a benefit to play at home. There's pressure, but it's great," he added.
"When I first came on tour I was a child - in my behaviour as well as my physique. But I've tried to work hard and hopefully I can keep getting better.
"I've had good runs here. It's an extremely strong field this year so I'll have to play great tennis."
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