Andy Murray appeared down and out on Wednesday but he was back doing what he likes best at Wimbledon, picking himself up and dusting himself down as he roared to a 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-4 6-2 second-round win over little-known German qualifier Oscar Otte.
Before Wednesday, Murray had never lost a Grand Slam match to a player ranked as low as number 151 Otte and he had never been beaten before the third round at the All England Club.
When the match had to be briefly halted at 2-2 in the fourth set as gathering gloom meant the Centre Court roof had to be closed so that the contest could continue under floodlights, it seemed as if Murray was on the verge of losing both of those personal milestones on day three of the championships.
But that stoppage allowed 118th-ranked Murray, playing on a wildcard this year as he works his way back to full fitness following hip-resurfacing surgery in 2019, to gather his thoughts and change his tactics as he won 10 of the next 14 games to book a third-round meeting with Canadian 10th seed Denis Shapovalov.
Andy murray, wimbledonBritain’s Andy Murray celebrates winning his second round match against Germany’s Oscar Otte. (REUTERS/Toby Melville)
“I enjoyed the end, the middle part not so much. What an amazing atmosphere to play in. I needed everyone’s help tonight and they did a great job,” a hugely-relieved Murray told the hollering 7,500 fans who had been allowed into the stands.
“I had to do something differently. I started going for my shots more, dictating more points. I was being a little bit negative and because of the lack of matches I didn’t make the right decisions.
“I played the right way the last couple of sets. The first set and a half was good. It’s the bit in the middle I’d like to change.”
The Scot, who ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s Wimbledon champion in 2013 before repeating those heroics three years later, had come into the grascourt major having played only five Tour-level matches in 2021.
That lack of match-fitness caught up with Murray in the second and third sets to such an extent that not only did he struggle to move around court, some of his shots made him look like a novice rather than a player who has contested 11 Grand Slam finals in what is considered to be the greatest era in men’s tennis.
new source: indianexpress