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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Martin McMillan

Andy Murray’s Wimbledon hopes over after five-set epic with Stefanos Tsitsipas

Andy Murray suffered more Wimbledon heartache with a five-set defeat by Stefanos Tsitsipas in their delayed second-round clash.

The Scot was two sets to one up overnight when the 11pm curfew came into play but he was unable to complete the job, with fifth seed Tsitsipas fighting back to win 7-6 (3) 6-7 (2) 4-6 7-6 (3) 6-4.

It was a hugely disappointing way for Murray to mark the 10th anniversary of his career-defining first Wimbledon title, and he is all too aware that his chances for another deep run here are ebbing away.

Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates winning the fourth set (Steven Paston/PA)

He missed the French Open to focus on his grass-court preparations and arrived at the All England Club feeling confident and healthy for the first time since winning his second title in 2016.

He was unfortunate to run into a top seed so early, and there were many aspects of his performance that were positive, but he would have fancied his chances against Tsitsipas on grass and this one will sting.

The match began under the roof on Thursday but there were blue skies above on the hottest day of the tournament so far when the players returned to Centre Court.

Murray had sparked alarm right at the end of the set by screaming in pain and going down clutching his left groin but he practised as normal ahead of the match and there was no sign of any discomfort.

The roof was open for the resumption of the match (Steven Paston/PA)

The breezy conditions perhaps contributed to more errors from both than was the case in the first part of the match, while nerves were sure to play their part with the contest already so close to its conclusion.

Tsitsipas’ backhand leaked a substantial number of errors but his serve was again working beautifully and Murray was unable to force a break point, the 36-year-old smacking the net in frustration as another close game got away.

He had clearly been eager to avoid the lottery of another tie-break and, in a repeat of the first-set shoot-out, it was Tsitsipas who won the final four points.

Murray’s strategy to relentlessly probe the Greek’s backhand was perhaps becoming a little predictable, and he was in serious trouble when Tsitsipas created three break points in the third game of the deciding set, taking the third to break serve for the first time.

Willed on by the crowd, Murray tried to find a way back but Tsitsipas continued to serve very strongly.

Still there was hope as the home favourite saved two match points but he clinched it on his third chance with his 17th ace to book a third-round clash with Laslo Djere.

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