Murray downs Brown while Konta claims ‘antsy’ win over Vekic

Dustin Brown wasn’t the only thing flying around the courts of Wimbledon on Wednesday.

Andy Murray brushed aside the threat posed by one-time Rafa Nadal beater Dustin Brown on Wednesday, easing into the third round with a devastatingly efficient win.

Murray committed just five unforced errors and gave away just 14 points on serve as he cruised to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over the flying German to set up a potentially more challenging tie against dangerous baseliner and 28th seed Fabio Fognini of Italy.

Nadal also made a triumphant return to centre-court for the first time since the Brown defeat with a simple straight sets win over the US’ Donald Young.

Brown, meanwhile, conceded he had been well beaten.

“If he has a problem with his hip, I don’t want to play against him when his hip’s good,” he said post-match, alluding to Murray’s pre-tournament injury.

Another player overcoming a hip injury is Asian hope Kei Nishikori.

The Japanese eighth seed dug deep to defeat serve-and-volley merchant Sergiy Stakhovsky (conqueror of Roger Federer in 2013) in four sets to make the third round where he will face Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.

Nishikori leads 4-0 in their head to head and will need to make it five if he wants to surpass his best ever showing at Wimbledon (round four in 2014 and 2016).

Second and third seeds Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will want to avoid any further encounters with injuries on Thursday and get a full match under their respective belts as they face Adam Pavlasek and Dusan Lajovic in second-round ties.

Both players are lacking match practice after their first-round contests were cut short by injuries to their opponents and will want to get their Wimbledon campaigns underway in earnest.

Although on paper neither of them should be too troubled on their quest to reach round three.

One player, among several, who was troubled on Wednesday was sixth-seed and home favourite Johanna Konta.

In addition to trying to beat her pesky opponent Donna Vekic – she eventually won 10-8 in the third set after more than three hours on court – Konta was pestered throughout by flying ants, who invaded Wimbledon in droves searching for the perfect mate.

The British number one later admitted that she had probably swallowed one or two of the winged insects on her way to the win.

The taste of victory? Sweet, although we’re not sure about the ants.

One person who didn’t enjoy victory and instead tasted a surprise defeat was 11th seed Petra Kvitova, who went down in three sets to Madison Brengle of the US.

Kvitova was playing just her third tournament since a horrific knife attack in December, and perhaps it was a bridge too far for the two-time former champion.

Another player who is struggling, but for entirely different reasons is world number one Angelique Kerber.

Set to lose her number one spot if she fails to reach the final, the badly out of form Kerber faces Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium in round two on Thursday.

Kerber won in three sets last time they met, which was at Wimbledon in 2014.

Going by the rankings Kerber should be the heavy favourite, but with the German’s form so erratic in recent months the result is hard to predict.

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