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Murray warms up for Wimbledon with exhibition win

ESPN staff
June 20, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Andy Murray won in straight sets against Kei Nishikori © PA Photos
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Andy Murray continued his good form on grass as the British No. 1 defeated Kei Nishikori 6-2 7-6(5) in an exhibition encounter at the BNP Paribas Tennis Classic on Thursday evening.

The world No. 2, who lifted a third trophy at the Aegon Championships on Sunday, made his return from a month's absence with a back injury at Queen's, and warmed up for Wimbledon in perfect fashion with a straight sets win over the top-ranked Japanese at the Hurlingham Club.

Murray, runner-up to Roger Federer at Wimbledon last year, raced into a 3-1 lead in the opening set, but despite losing his serve, the Scot went on to clinch the first set.

Nishikori, ranked at a career-high 11th in the world, battled in the second set and opened up a 3-0 advantage. However, Murray fought back to take the set into a tiebreak, which went the way of the home favourite.

Meanwhile, at The Boodles at Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic put on a show along with Grigor Dimitrov.

The Serb is renowned for his impersonations of fellow tennis players on court, especially Maria Sharapova, and he once again demonstrated his humorous side alongside Dimitrov - the boyfriend of the Russian.

Djokovic lost the first set 7-5 to the talented Bulgarian, but fought back to win 6-3 10-6, and after the encounter he said: "Everything is going according to plan and hopefully I can get in the best possible shape for the start of Wimbledon. I know what I need to do in order to adjust from the slowest to the fastest service in a very short period of time.

"There's no bigger motivation than playing in the most prestigious tournament in the world in our sport, the one that I always dreamed of winning. I won it two years ago and it's definitely been the highlight of my career. I love playing at Wimbledon.

"Grass is the most special surface we have in the sport; the oldest also. We play on it only a few weeks a year so we better use it wisely. I like playing on it and it makes me aggressive on the court. Hopefully I can raise the level of my game as the tournament goes on."

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