Andy Murray will return to court on Friday needing one more set to reach the third round at Wimbledon for just the second time since 2017. The Scot was leading World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(3), 7-6(2), 6-4 on Thursday when play was suspended for the day on Centre Court 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.
With a raucous crowd watching on, little could separate two-time champion Murray and Greek Tsitsipas as they went blow for blow in a blockbuster second-round clash under the Centre Court roof.
Tsitsipas struck his forehand with destructive power throughout the two hours and 53 minutes they spent on court, but Murray grew as the match went on. After losing the first set, the former World No. 1 showed great movement and struck his groundstrokes with more aggression in the second and third sets to end the day ahead.
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. The former World No. 1 will need to examine any lingering consequences of the fall overnight.
Murray and Tsitsipas are locked at 1-1 in their ATP Head2Head series, with the Greek winning their previous major meeting at the US Open in 2021. The winner will play Laslo Djere in the third round after the Serbian defeated #NextGenATP American Ben Shelton 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) 6-3.
Murray holds a 61-12 record at Wimbledon and is a two-time champion, having triumphed in 2013 and 2016. When he returns on Friday, he will aim to earn his maiden Top 5 win of the season and first since June 2022, when he beat Tsitsipas on grass in Stuttgart. The Scot is also aiming to become just the eighth man in the Open Era (since 1968) to earn 200 Grand Slam match wins.
Tsitsipas, who clawed past Dominic Thiem in five sets in the first round, is trying to reach the third round at Wimbledon for the third time. His best result came in 2018 when he advanced to the fourth round.
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.