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Tsitsipas Completes Comeback, Sinks Murray At Wimbledon

Greek seals victory after Thursday's suspension
July 07, 2023
Stefanos Tsitsipas in action on Friday at Wimbledon.
SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images
Stefanos Tsitsipas in action on Friday at Wimbledon. By ATP Staff

Trailing overnight, Stefanos Tsitsipas completed a thrilling turnaround on Friday at Wimbledon when he clawed past two-time champion Andy Murray 7-6(3), 6-7(2), 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4.

The Scot was leading the Greek 6-7(3), 7-6(2), 6-4 on Thursday when play was suspended for the day at 10:38 p.m. The decision was made to stop the match given that a conclusion before the 11 p.m. curfew was very unlikely.

The World No. 5 Tsitsipas came out firing upon Friday’s resumption. He penetrated with his explosive forehand, firing 87 winners to reach the third round at Wimbledon for the third time in four hours and 41 minutes.

"It is never easy against Andy," Tsitsipas said. "I know everyone loves him here. It was a very difficult game and I was very impressed with his level. Having had two surgeries, I was very impressed with his level today and I wish him the very best.

"It was nerve-wracking. It is difficult when you have grown up watching him play on this court. I looked up to him, I looked up to Novak, Roger, Rafa. These four guys shaped the game and are the reason I am the player I am today."

Tsitsipas now leads Murray 2-1 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series and will next play Laslo Djere after the Serbian defeated #NextGenATP American Ben Shelton 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) 6-3. The 24-year-old has now won consecutive five-set matches at this year’s Championships, having also downed former World No. 3 Dominic Thiem in five in the first round.

"You are dealing with a lot of things," Tsitsipas said when asked about Thursday's suspension. "First of all you are facing Andy Murray and are down. You have to come up with solutions and that was the most challenging part. You are dealing with someone who returns lots of balls in... I had to work extra hard today to get the victory."

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In a high-quality first set, Murray and Tsitsipas went blow for blow, with both players offering little opportunity to their opponent on serve. Tsitsipas was the more aggressive of the two, hitting 21 winners in the set compared to 11 from Murray, but the Scot showed good movement to hang in rallies.

After Murray saved a set point on serve at 5-6 with a forehand that clipped the line, Tsitsipas gained control in the tie-break. The World No. 5 demonstrated good footwork to dictate with the forehand, overpowering Murray to move ahead.

Murray responded in the second set, though. He hit his watertight groundstrokes with depth and locked in during the tie-break, committing just two unforced errors in the set to level. The Scot raised his fist to the air when he walked back to his chair, embracing the roar from the home crowd.

The former World No. 1 then clinched an early break in the third set and showed his fighting spirit, saving two break points on serve at 2-1 to maintain his momentum. The Scot was strong on serve from then on to take a two-sets-to-one lead.

There was one moment of worry for Murray in the final game of the third set, though. The Scot fell and clutched his groin while serving for the set, but returned to his feet and sealed the set on the following point.

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Returning on Friday with the roof open, both continued from where they left off, with gruelling baseline exchanges the order of the fourth set. In a tight set, Tsitsipas was the more aggressive in the tie-break, pouncing on short balls to level.

Murray then started the fifth set passively and was broken early. From there, Tsitsipas was in control, ruthlessly rolling through his service games to advance.

The former World No. 1 Murray holds a 61-13 record at Wimbledon and is a two-time champion, having triumphed in 2013 and 2016. He was seeking his maiden Top 5 win of the season and first since June 2022, when he beat the Greek on grass in Stuttgart.

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