Andy Murray makes Wimbledon request for Denis Shapovalov clash after epic five-set win
Andy Murray insists he feels physically fine despite a few worrying slips in an incredible Wimbledon second-round win over German qualifier Oscar Otte on Wednesday night – but has asked the SW19 crowd to bring the noise again in his next match on Friday.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Murray was a set and a break up before Otte found some rhythm to clinch sets two and three and crank up the pressure on the Brit.
But after an enforced break at 2-2 in the fourth set due to dwindling daylight, Murray battled back in front of 7,500 fans on the All England Club’s main court for an incredible victory that sets him up against Denis Shapovalov in round three.
Murray played for nearly four hours but eventually clinched a 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory inside an electric Centre Court, with the already-cacophonous noise from the crowd only racketing up after the roof was closed.
He has now been on court for seven hours and 23 minutes after just two matches having beaten Nikolas Basilashvili before Otte in what was his first singles match at Wimbledon since 2017.
The three-time Grand Slam winner has been in an ongoing battle with his own body in recent years due to numerous injury problems but played down any fears that he might be feeling the effects of so much time on court already this week.
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And the 34-year-old, fresh from seeing off world No 151 Otte, requested that the fans are equally as loud when he returns to take on Canadian 10th seed Shapovalov later this week.
“I enjoyed the end! The middle part not so much,” he joked on court post-match after finally seeing off Otte.
“Yeah what an atmosphere to play in at the end. The whole crowd was amazing but there were a few guys in there [points to crowd] who were getting me fired up.
“I needed everyone’s help tonight and they did a great job. I’ve hit some great shots at the end to finish it but it was a tough match.
“I’m obviously tired and I fell over a couple of times. Pretty slick courts. Considering everything, I feel alright. Hips feel good.
“Yeah I obviously get a rest day tomorrow and hopefully come out on Friday and play in another atmosphere like this and hopefully perform well.”
Asked about the break during which the roof was closed and how he used it to his advantage, the Scot having returned full of vim and vigour afterwards, Murray added: “I had to do something differently. I started going for my shots more, dictating more of the points.
“I was being a little bit negative. Just because of the lack of matches and the important moments, I didn’t make the right decisions a lot of the time.
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“I think I played the right way the last couple of sets. The first set and a half was really good but there were bits in the middle I’d like to change.”
Murray has never previously faced Shapovalov, the world No 12, who has still yet to get past the second round at Wimbledon in his career.
Former British No 1 Murray is looking to make the second week of his favourite grass court major for the 12th time.
He has still never lost before the third round at Wimbledon thanks to his defeat of qualifier Otte, in what was another disappointing result for Germany in England’s capital.
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