Home favourite Andy Murray had the last laugh as he silenced Nikolay Davydenko’s taunts with a straight sets win Tuesday to kick off his Wimbledon campaign.
The Russian had claimed players laughed at the British fourth seed, believing he regularly makes a song and dance out of his injuries.
But Murray left Davydenko licking his wounds by beating him 6-1, 6-1 6-4 on Centre Court.
Davydenko, 31, a former world number three, who won the 2009 World Tour Finals, has seen his ranking drop to 47 and he was outclassed by his Scottish opponent.
“I’m desperate to get the tournament going because there’s a lot of talk from a lot of people,” Murray said afterwards.
“It’s never easy playing at Wimbledon in the first round but that was a good start. The first two sets were very good. I got off to a great start and then relaxed.
“Since Queen’s I’ve been itching to get going.
“I was hitting the ball very clean from the beginning of the match.”
He faces either Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic or Israel’s Dudi Sela in the second round.
Murray, making his seventh Wimbledon appearance, has never lost his opening match at the All England Club and has made the semi-finals on the last three occasions.
He is bidding to become the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win the men’s singles crown.
Murray has come under fire in recent weeks from the likes of Virginia Wade, the last British singles winner at Wimbledon, who won the ladies’ title in 1977.
She called him a “drama queen”, claiming the 25-year-old exaggerated any bumps and bruises he may be feeling.
“We just laugh sometimes,” Davydenko told The Sun newspaper on Tuesday.
“Sometimes he walks on court, he looks tired, like he doesn’t want to run anymore and then he runs like an animal. He has done that all his career.
“He may have a pain somewhere but if you ask any player they will all say they have pains here and there. Nobody says they are perfect. It’s just not possible.”
Murray showed no bitterness at the end of the match, shaking hands with Davydenko at the net.