Andy Murray beats Kei Nishikori in an exhibition ahead of Wimbledon
Last Updated: 20/06/13 9:07pm
Andy Murray: Won again as he prepares for Wimbledon
Andy Murray put the finishing touches to his preparations for Wimbledon with victory over Japan's Kei Nishikori in the exhibition BNP Paribas Tennis Classic at the Hurlingham Club on Thursday evening.
The Scot missed the French Open with a back injury but secured a third AEGON Championships title at Queen's last weekend and he again looked in good form in London as he beat Nishikori 6-2 7-6 (7/5).
The GB ace broke the serve of his opponent, who is at a career-high of 11th in the ATP world rankings, in the third game of the opening set to move 3-1 ahead. The spectators were treated to some exhibition shots which are unlikely to follow either player to the All England Club next week.
World number two Murray - runner-up to Roger Federer at Wimbledon last year but the reigning Olympic and US Open champion - dropped his next service game before closing out the set by breaking to love.
Nishikori, who reached the quarter-finals of last year's Australian Open, showed intent at the start of the second set to lead 3-0 as Murray lost momentum following some unforced errors and misplaced serves.
However, Murray was soon back in his rhythm and two breaks brought him level, featuring a range of passing shots from the baseline.
Both men then held serve before Murray moved 6-5 ahead and forced a match point in game 12, but he sent a forehand into the net.
An early mini-break, though, saw him go 3-1 ahead in the tie-break. After spurning another match point, Murray clinched the tie-break on his own serve.
While Murray will head back to his SW19 training base, there is little rest for Nishikori, who is set to return to the Hurlingham Club on Friday to play French Open champion Rafael Nadal.
Spain's former two-time Wimbledon winner has been seeded at just number five this year, and depending on the outcome of Saturday's draw, he could be a quarter-final obstacle in Murray's path.