Wimbledon: Tsitsipas breaks British hearts as he battles past Murray and into third round
Another glorious golden evening for Murray at SW19 was not to be, as Tsitsipas showed class and style to come through a brilliant match
Stefanos Tsitsipas made it clear he had no intention of sticking to the British summer time script as he advanced to the third round of Wimbledon courtesy of an epic win over Andy Murray, coming through 7-6 (3), 6-7 (2), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4.
Ten years to the day that Andy Murray won his first Wimbledon title, many packed into Centre Court could feel a magical brush with history as the Scot rolled back the years to produce some fabulous tennis over the course of the 4 hours and 40 minutes (played over two days) that this match ran for.
But the British fairy-tale was not to be, and the love affair that Andy Murray has enjoyed with tennis’ most hallowed turf did not have another beautiful chapter in wait this year.
Day five at Wimbledon ended up being business as usual for the top seeds in the men’s draw, with Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Holger Rune, Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev all navigating their respective matches seamlessly. The only major upset was Chris Eubanks, world No 43, defeating British No 1 Cam Norrie.
The story of a remarkable Wimbledon encounter
When all the statistics and match story quirks have filtered through to the Murray camp, the former British No 1 will likely not feel much better than he did when he exited the court, waving forlornly back to his adoring fans for what everyone hopes will not be the last time.
Murray won more total points than his Greek counterpart, by 176 – 169. This tells the tale of how agonisingly close the two-time champion was to getting over the line.
There was also a moment at 15-30 on Tsitsipas’ serve when a devilish passing shot from Murray beat the Greek and clipped the line on the opposite side of the court, only to be erroneously called out.
But it was up to Murray to make a challenge, and challenge he did not. Something which will remain a bitter pill to swallow for quite some time for the Scot.
Scintillating Stefanos Tsitsipas
Nevertheless, Stefanos Tsitsipas was very good value for his win. The Greek fifth seed played superb tennis throughout the encounter in a display reminiscent of the level that has taken him to two Grand Slam finals.
There were doubts around Tsitsipas’ form coming into the Championships this year, as he fell early in all three grass-court build-up tournaments he played prior to Wimbledon.
But those doubts have been silenced emphatically this week. Coming through a similar five-set epic over Dominic Thiem in the first round, Tsitsipas looked back to somewhere near his best.
That form continued into his second round clash with Murray, and will stand him in great stead to mount a challenge to this year’s Wimbledon title.
“It’s never easy against Andy, I know. Everyone loves him here. It was a very difficult game and I’m impressed how well he holds up after his hip surgeries and his level today. I wish him the best in the future.
“It was nerve-racking. It was an obstacle and it’s extra difficult when you’ve grown up watching him play on this court. I had goosebumps when he won his first Wimbledon title and his courageous run in 2012.”
More Andy Murray-inspired goosebumps will have to wait until – hopefully – next year for the spectators.
For Tsitsipas, meanwhile, an opportunity to create his own goosebumps may well present itself in the grounds of SW19 this year.
Wimbledon (Grand Slam), other second-round results (All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, grass, GBP 16.077.000, most recent results first):
- Christopher Eubanks beat Cameron Norrie (12): 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (3)
- Nicolas Jarry (25) beat Jason Kubler: 7-5, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
- Carlos Alcaraz (1) beat Alexandre Muller: 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-3
- Alexander Zverev (19) beat Yosuke Watanuki (LL): 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2
- Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (31) beat Botic van de Zandschulp: 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
- Marton Fucsovics beat Marcos Giron: 7-6 (2), 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
- Daniil Medvedev (3) beat Adrian Mannarino: 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (5)
- Matteo Berrettini beat Alex De Minaur (15): 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
- Christopher O’Connell beat Jiri Vesely: 6-3, 7-5, 6-4
- Holger Rune (6) beat Roberto Carballes Baena: 6-3, 7-6 (3), 6-4
- Grigor Dimitrov (21) beat Ilya Ivashka: 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
- Laslo Djere beat Ben Shelton (32): 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3
- Frances Tiafoe (10) beat Dominic Stricker (Q): 7-6 (11), 6-4, 6-2
- Mikael Ymer beat Taylor Fritz (9): 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
- Guido Pella beat Harold Mayot (Q): 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3), 7-5
- Jiri Lehecka beat Francisco Cerundolo (18): 6-2, 6-2, 6-2
- David Goffin (WC) beat Tomas Barrios Vera (Q): 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-2, 6-0
- Roman Safiullin beat Corentin Moutet: 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (4)
- Tommy Paul (16) beat Milos Raonic: 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 6-4
- Daniel Elahi Galan beat Oscar Otte (Q): 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3)
- Liam Broady (WC) beat Casper Ruud (4): 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0
- Andrey Rublev (7) beat Aslan Karatsev: 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4, 7-5
- Denis Shapovalov (26) beat Gregoire Barrere: 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7)
- Stan Wawrinka beat Tomas Martin Etcheverry (29): 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
- Maximilian Marterer beat Michael Mmoh (LL): 7-5, 7-6 (5), 6-4
- Alexander Bublik (23) beat J.J. Wolf: 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-0
- Hubert Hurkacz (17) beat Jan Choinski (WC): 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (3)
- Lorenzo Musetti (14) beat Jaume Munar: 6-4, 6-3, 6-1
- Quentin Halys beat Aleksandar Vukic: 6-3, 6-1, 6-4
- Jannik Sinner (8) beat Diego Schwartzman: 7-5, 6-1, 6-2
- Novak Djokovic (2) beat Jordan Thompson: 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-5