World number three Andy Murray paid tribute to opponent Mikhail Kukushkin after he was made to work for a round-one Wimbledon win.
Andy Murray conceded that he made life difficult for himself in his round one victory over Mikhail Kukushkin at Wimbledon.
The number three seed closed out a 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 win as searing temperatures lasted into the early evening on Centre Court.
But Murray dropped his serve three times in the second set, once while serving for it at 5-3, and needed to break back to force a tie-break that he dominated.
"It was a tough match," he told BBC Sport. "I made it hard for myself at the end of the second set.
"I was serving at 5-3 and 30-0 and didn't hold there. Then he started playing some very aggressive tennis.
"He was hitting the ball very well down the line and hitting it so low over the net, it was difficult for me to do much with the ball.
"I was doing a lot of defending out there - I'm glad I managed to get through because it was a hot day playing against a tough opponent."
Murray accepted that he must improve on his opening performance to regain the title he memorably won in 2013 but was also keen to pay tribute to his Kazakh opponent, who illuminated the contest with a series of audacious shots in a fluctuating second set.
"There's definitely work to be done for me but I felt like my opponent played very well," the 28-year-old added.
"Kukushkin hit some great shots and he made it very difficult for me to play offensively.
"It made it very uncomfortable for me out there so credit to him.
"I'm not worried too much about what the other players are doing just now - you try and concentrate on your own matches and definitely I can improve on that one."