Andy Murray: The Man, The Court, The Wimbledon Memories

Andy Murray (photo: Wimbledon video)

LONDON/WASHINGTON, July 1, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

For the second time in three nights, Andy Murray electrified Centre Court after dark. On Wednesday evening, the two-time (2013, 2016) Wimbledon champion from Great Britain faced 27-year-old German qualifier Oscar Otte, ranked No. 151 from Cologne, who was making quite an impression in his first appearance in a Wimbledon main draw.

The 118th-ranked Murray, age 34 with metal hip and all, flirted with disaster, falling behind two sets to one. He slipped on the grass, but got up and kept playing. Never count Murray out. After all, he had never lost in the first or second round of Wimbledon and coming in, he was also 34-0 at Grand Slams against players ranked outside the Top 100.

After Murray’s 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory that was completed in three hours and 51 minutes and finished at 10:26 p.m., he’s now 13-0 in Wimbledon second round matches. Murray earned advancement to the third round on Friday, where he will oppose No. 10 seed – and well-rested – Denis Shapovalov of Canada, who earned a second-round walkover win against Pablo Andújar of Spain.


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By the end of the roller-coaster match with Otte, Murray was exhausted but elated he’d won. He captured 12 of the final 16 games and the downtime while the roof was closed seemed to revive him. Match point was a beautiful lob that sailed over Otte’s head and landed just inside the baseline. The two competitors shared a cordial embrace at the net like a couple of friends at the pub when it was completed.

During Murray’s post-match interview on court, he grabbed the microphone and worked the room that was packed as full as it could get under the reduced capacity guidelines in place at Wimbledon. “I enjoyed the end – the middle part not so much,” he said while beaming a smile for all of Great Britain to admire. “But what an atmosphere to play in at the end. The whole crowd was amazing but there were a few guys who were in there getting me fired up. I needed everyone’s help tonight and they did a great job. I played some great shots at the end to finish it but it was a tough match.”


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 Murray finished with seven aces and 55 total winners to 35 unforced errors and won 74 percent of his first-serve points. He broke Otte’s serve seven times in 12 tries and outpointed the German 151-142. Otte fired 14 aces, won 76 percent of his first-serve points and ended the match with 60 winners while committing 38 unforced errors.

“[After the break] I had to start doing something differently,” Murray stressed. The roof was closed at 8:57 p.m. with the score tied at 2-all in the fourth set. “I started going for my shots more, started dictating the points more because I was being a bit negative, and because of the lack of matches, in the important moments I didn’t make the right decisions a lot of the time. But I think I played the right way the last couple of sets. And the first set and a half were really good but there’s just bits in the middle I would like to change.”

Around the All England Club

Nick Kyrgios: Unfiltered

Nick Kyrgios loves to entertain a Wimbledon crowd. After his marathon, two-day five-set win over Ugo Humbert, he spoke candidly during his on-court interview.


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Felix Auger-Aliassime: On finding inspiration

Wednesday’s Wimbledon results

Thursday’s Wimbledon order of play

By the numbers

• On Wednesday, British No. 2 Cameron Norrie, seeded 29th, defeated No. 95 Lucas Pouille of France, 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-2, 7-5, to collect his 30th victory of 2021.

• This marks the first time since 1997 without at least one of the Williams sisters – Venus and Serena – reaching the third round at Wimbledon. Serena retired from her first-round match due to a leg injury on Tuesday while Venus was defeated in the second round by Ons Jabeur on Wednesday.

“Quotable …”

“Honestly, I was so nervous. It’s the first time I’ve played a legend and not everyone was with me but it was a great game. My slices and drop shots go really well with this surface. I enjoy playing a lot here – I can dive any time, which is great for me. I feel a natural energy here. It’s amazing to be here. I love being in England and I hope I can continue my journey.”

Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, following her 7-5, 6-0 second-round victory over five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams on Wednesday.

What they’re sharing on social media

Paula Badosa / What a special place