Jonny Marray made a winning start as he returned to the scene of his greatest triumph at Wimbledon.
Marray and new Australian doubles partner John Patrick Smith were confident 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 winners over Andreas Siljestrom and Igor Zelenay.
Marray made his big breakthrough at the All England Club two years ago when alongside Frederik Nielsen, when he became the first British player to win the men’s doubles title since 1936.
But he struggled after the win - playing with seven different partners and winning just two of thirteen matches in his eleven tournaments afterwards.
This year he has played with six different partners - including Andy Murray - and after a recent calf injury put his SW19 participation in doubt, he has only just teamed up with Smith.
“It’s my first match in a few months and I’m just delighted to have won it,” said Marray.
“I was only 50/50 to be fit, so that didn’t really give me a lot of options because most people had teamed up with someone. I don’t really know JP but I’d heard good things and that was pretty good for a first competitive match.
“It’s been difficult finding partners that you can train and practice with and, importantly, someone whose game compliments mine.
“It’s not ideal but you can still have good results with partners you don’t really know that well.
“When you are bit more settled with your partner, you can plan ahead and be more strategic and there is no last minute scrambling around for someone to team up with.”
Marray and Smith will need to step up again in their next match against number 15 seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Marcin Matkowski, who were confident winners in their first match.
But the 33-year-old – competing at his 11th Wimbledon – remains optimistic.
“My biggest issue was just being fit, so I’ve not really thought about expectations. I felt a bit sluggish tennis wise but I’ve come through without irritating anything,” he added.
“This place obviously has lots of memories for me and I always get a buzz from competing here and remembering two years ago.
“Having won here, your expectations are always a bit heightened. After all the issues I’ve had, I’m realistic but I also know it’s possible to get on a run and really click with someone. We’ll just have to see.”
*As the Official Banking Partner of The Championships, HSBC is helping fans get closer to Wimbledon by giving them the chance to win Centre Court tickets. For further information, visit www.wimbledon.com/hsbc