The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Andy and Joe show gets off to a flyer

PERFECT MATCH: Murray (left) and Salisbury thrashed their opponents

- By Robert Dineen IN TOKYO

ANDY MURRAY declared that he and partner Joe Salisbury have the potential to be a ‘really good team’ after the Team GB duo toppled second seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in round one at the Ariake Tennis Park.

Murray and Salisbury, who had never before played together, sparked immediatel­y in brutally hot conditions and demolished the French pair 6-3, 6-2.

The Britons take on Germans Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz in the last 16.

Murray, who begins his quest for a third straight singles gold medal on Sunday against ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, said: ‘I think if we keep the same sort of attitude and everything, prepare diligently, I think we’ve got a chance of doing well.

‘We have the potential to be a really good team, I think the result today showed that.’

Murray’s older brother Jamie is also through to the last 16 after he and partner Neal Skupski beat Argentine duo Andres Molteni and Horacio Zeballos in a deciding tie-break.

There was disappoint­ment, though, for Heather Watson, who was beaten 7-6, 6-3 by Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam in the women’s singles.

Johanna Konta’s positive test for coronaviru­s left Watson as Britain’s only female representa­tive and she must now wait until Tuesday to find out if she and Salisbury will make the cut for the mixed doubles.

An emotional Watson said afterwards: ‘It definitely wasn’t my best tennis but I gave my best with what I had. It wasn’t enough. Just too many unforced errors.’

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev — the world’s top two men’s players — led calls to Olympic organisers to move matches to the late afternoon for the rest of the competitio­n to save players from the stifling conditions.

Temperatur­es hit 33C while Wimbledon champion Djokovic was easing past Bolivia’s Hugo Dellen in straight sets and temperatur­es did not relent for Medvedev during his 6-4, 7-6 success over Alexander Kublik of Kazakhstan.

Medvedev suggested moving all matches to the evening and Djokovic said: ‘I agree with him 100 per cent. I just don’t understand why they don’t move it, I sincerely don’t understand.’

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