Murray’s Dramatic Comeback Keeps Wimbledon Run Alive
Former champion Andy Murray trailed by two sets to one on Wednesday night, but he rallied back under the lights on Centre Court to take down qualifier Oscar Otte 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 and return to the third round at Wimbledon.
Murray, who is competing at The Championships with a wild card, is contesting his first singles campaign at SW19 since 2017 as he continues to make his way back to full form after undergoing hip surgeries. He recorded an upset over 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashivili in the previous round, though he quickly had his hands full against a determined Otte, who previously pushed World No. 6 Alexander Zverev to five sets in their Roland Garros meeting last month.
But the Brit never stopped fighting, and he rallied the fans on Centre Court to maintain his perfect record of always reaching the third round at Wimbledon in 13 appearances. Murray will next face 10th seed Denis Shapovalov, who received a walkover from Pablo Andujar (rib injury) to advance.
"It's been tough. But that's one of the reasons why I'm still playing, is because of moments like [this]. Like, why would you want to give that up?" Murray said. "The atmosphere was good the whole match, but especially the last sort of hour and a half was brilliant. I still enjoy that."
Murray looked to be in control in the early stages as he took the opening set without facing a break point and led by 3-1 in the second. But Otte worked his way back into the contest as he took advantage of unforced errors creeping into Murray’s game, and pounced on attackable second serves. The Brit’s familiar disgruntled commentary grew in volume along with his frustration, as Otte reeled off four games in a row to take the second set 6-4 and edged through with a break in the third.
But with the qualifier charging toward the finish line, the match had one final twist left as play was paused at 2-2 in the fourth set to close the roof over Centre Court due to darkness. Murray used the pause to hit the reset button, and returned with renewed determination as the crowd’s vocal support seemed to amplify.
"The crowd created a great atmosphere, but I think I was also engaging them and we were feeding off each other a lot at the end," Murray said. "I'm aware in the moment, I know what a great atmosphere is in tennis. I have played in a few of them over the years, and that was definitely one of them."
Murray kept Otte on the move with smart forays to the net, and he took a 3-0 lead in the fifth set with a drop shot to claim a break of serve. He held firm against Otte’s firepower, escaping with his serve after a tight 4-2 game where he was pushed to deuce three times, closing it out with a passing shot on the run. After three hours and 50 minutes, Murray sealed the victory with a backhand lob winner to claim his place in the third round.
Elsewhere in Murray’s section of the draw, Cameron Norrie came back from a set down against Lucas Pouille to win 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-2, 7-5. The 29th seed claimed all three sets played today after their match was suspended yesterday due to darkness.
Norrie, who reached the cinch Championships final at The Queen’s Club, dictated play as he created 17 break opportunities throughout the match, and converted on seven occasions. He moved into the second round for the second time and will next face Australian wild card Alex Bolt.
“I'm feeling good. I think I've done well to keep momentum. I keep building on the matches,” Norrie said. “I think today that was a good example of obviously winning a lot this year, having a lot of confidence, and getting through a lot of tough matches.”
Also in action, 22nd-seeded Daniel Evans cruised past Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in under two hours on No. 1 Court to reach the third round. The current British No. 1 equalled his best Wimbledon result (also 2016 and 2019) after firing 22 winners and saving five of the seven break points faced. He will face #NextGenATP Sebastian Korda next.
Did You Know?
Murray is contesting his 51st Grand Slam event here, extending his record for most Grand Slam appearances by a British man in the Open Era. He claimed sole ownership of the record, ahead of Tim Henman, by contesting his 50th Grand Slam event at Roland Garros last year.