Andy Murray continued the defence of his Wimbledon title with a comfortable and classy straight-set victory over Dustin Brown in uncomfortable conditions in SW19.

In temperatures reaching 26c, Murray dispatched the maverick 32-year-old in a little over an hour, winning 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in a display of his best tennis in 2017, which will end question marks over his fitness.

Centre Court was still buzzing from Johanna Konta’s gruelling three-set, three-hour victory over Donna Vekic when Murray and Brown finally took to the court, and they delivered more fine entertainment – but of a very different sort to Konta’s slog. Murray was simply a class above Brown and for every acrobatic volleyed winner from the dreadlocked German, Murray hit two glorious passing shots.

The British No.1 was still limping – or, at least, shuffling unusually – in this morning’s practice after his preparations were hampered by a persistent hip problem but for the second time in two days, he showed few signs of injury in another assured win.

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“He was hitting some great volleys and going for the returns. I stuck with my shots, and I hit some good drop-volleys and passing shots,” Murray said the BBC afterwards.

“Until the very end of the match, the last three games, I hadn’t served particularly well but the rest of the match I was pleased with everything. I certainly played better than the first round which was good and I moved pretty well today. 

“[My hip] is OK. I moved well in the first couple of matches and I feel good.”

Records, prize money, ball boys & more: Wimbledon in numbers

Records, prize money, ball boys & more: Wimbledon in numbers

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    Wimbledon 2017 gets under way on Monday, July 3.

    Take a look at some of the stats around the championships.

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    9 — record number of singles wins, posted by Martina Navratilova.

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    31,600,000 — total prize money (£) for 2017 (a 12.5 per cent increase on last year).

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    250 — the number of ball boys and girls.

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    14,979 — the number of seats on Centre Court.

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  • 6/11

    25 — number of years since Andre Agassi won his only Wimbledon singles crown.

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    665 — length in minutes (11 hours, 5 minutes) of the longest match in tennis history, when John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the final set of their first-round match in 2010.

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    320,000 — glasses of Pimm’s consumed by spectators at Wimbledon 2016.

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    40 — the number of years since Virginia Wade won the women’s singles title, and John McEnroe made his debut.

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    39,000 — capacity in the grounds at any one time.

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  • 11/11

    1875 — the year lawn tennis was introduced to the All England Croquet Club.

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Brown, who beat Rafa Nadal here in 2015, had said before the match that he was confident of winning Centre Court’s support, even ahead of one of Wimbledon’s favourite sons, and the great entertainer was soon pointing to the crowd and milking the applause after leaving Murray stranded at the net with a perfect lob. 

Brown’s serve-and-volley was causing Murray problems but for all his style, Murray had more substance — and more quality. He earned a first break when Brown smacked two forehands into the net followed by a tame double-fault. Murray held confidently to clinch the fist set 6-3.

Murray’s next break, in the fifth game of the second set, came with help from an inch-perfect lob that left Brown applauding, although the Briton looked equally impressed when his opponent somehow reached a passing shot with a perfect volleyed winner two points later. 

(AFP/Getty Images)

Murray secured another break to take total control of the match courtesy of a vintage down-the-line backhand and a ridiculous no-look return off his shoe from a smash. They were moments that suggested the Scot – who reached the semifinal at Roland Garros more through perspiration than inspiration – is returning to his brilliant best.

Murray wrapped up the second set with commanding service game to love, and broke again in the third game of the final set, this time courtesy of a lucky net-clip. As defeat became inevitable, Brown – who said before the match that there was no shame in losing to Murray in straight sets – became even more willing to approach the net but the quality of Murray’s serve and passing shots, which frequently found the line, were outstanding.

He broke again and wrapped up the match when Brown’s cheeky forehand slice found the net. Murray will play Fabio Fognini, the Italian No.28 seed who is yet another unconventional opponent. On this evidence, he will not have any problems against the clay-court specialist.

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