Flashback: A 19-Year-Old Murray's Stunner Against Roddick
Andy Murray is a Wimbledon legend. In 2013, he became the first British man to win The Championships since Fred Perry in 1936. But Murray’s first breakthrough at the The All England Club came in a 2006 match he didn’t expect to win.
Murray, who was competing in the main draw without a wild card for the first time, advanced to the third round on the hallowed grass. But he admitted his next opponent, third seed Andy Roddick, would be difficult to beat.
“He's definitely a big favourite to win,” Murray said.
The Brit defeated Roddick earlier that year in the San Jose semi-finals. But this was different, competing against a former Grand Slam champion on one of tennis’ grandest stages in best-of-five sets. Roddick had reached back-to-back finals at Wimbledon in 2004 and 2005.
“I think grass is definitely his best surface,” Murray said. “I don't know if there is a good time to play Roddick on grass.”
From 2003-05, Roddick didn’t lose a set in the third round at The Championships. But Murray put on a stunning counter-punching display to oust the favourite 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-4.
"I feel bad for Andy, he's such a great guy and a really good champion, and it's a shame I had to win against him."
Murray earned a spot in the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time, saving 11 of the 12 break points he faced in a two-hour, 31-minute victory.
“I don't know if he had a lot to lose,” Roddick said. “The way I see it, it was pretty much all gravy for him.”
The World No. 44 had an answer for everything Roddick threw at him except for the American’s 21 aces. If the big-serving righty didn’t paint the lines, Murray managed to push returns deep into the court. Roddick punished forehand after forehand to force the teen well behind the baseline, but he struggled to put the home favourite away.
“Are my spirits dampened? Hell yeah, they're dampened. I just lost [in the] third round of Wimbledon after making it to the semis, final [and] final the past three years,” Roddick said. “I'm very disappointed. I'm not happy. I'm mad. Disappointed, whatever other adjectives you want to throw out there.”
Murray lost in the next round against Marcos Baghdatis, but he proved his ability to compete against top opposition on a big stage. He claimed his first Grand Slam title at the 2012 US Open, before emerging victorious at Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016.