ANDY MURRAY and Joe Salisbury pulled off a stunning upset in the first round of their Tokyo 2020 men’s doubles.
Under a scorching midday Tokyo sun, on an empty Court 5, the Brit pair knocked out No.2 French seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 6-2.
Hubert had to withdraw from the Wimbledon second round with an injury but that should not take away from the Brits’ performance, especially as their opponents were going for the career Grand Slam together.
Murray, 34, won singles gold at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, and also has a silver medal in mixed doubles on his stellar record.
Next up they will face Germans Kevin Krawietz and Tim Putz while Murray has singles action to negotiate against his US Open tormentor Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada.
Murray said: “We have the potential to be a really good team, and this result showed that.
“Doubles is always tricky because sometimes the matches can come down to a few points. I think we were well deserved winners.
“If we keep the same sort of attitude and everything, prepare diligently, I think we’ve got a chance of doing well. But it’s not easy.”
It didn’t feel like it was our first match together. We gelled really well and complemented each other’s games.
Putney’s Salisbury, 29, said: “We’re obviously really happy with how we played.
“It didn’t feel like it was our first match together. We gelled really well and complemented each other’s games.
“We just kept going, kept pushing and fought for every point.”
Crushed Heather Watson broke down in tears in the media mixed zone after losing 7-6 6-3 to German world No.67 Anna-Lena Friedsam in the first round.
The British No.2 has not gone beyond the second round at Olympic level and this might have been her final shot, especially as she may not have a high enough combined ranking to compete in the mixed doubles with Salisbury.
Sobbing Watson, 29, said: “Whoever I played against I would have been really disappointed with the outcome.
“It definitely wasn’t my best tennis but I gave my best with what I had. It wasn’t enough.
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“Just too many unforced errors. My game would come and go in waves. Just really disappointed with the outcome.
“I did everything I could to prepare right. I literally couldn’t have done anymore.
“The heat does make the game a little bit more of a fitness contest rather than anything else. It was the same for both. I don’t mind the heat. I felt prepared.”
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