Andy Murray has crashed out of Wimbledon after losing a nail-biting fifth set with Stefanos Tsitsipas in what could be his last ever appearance at the club, after the match was halted last night by Wimbledon’s 11pm curfew.
On the eve of the anniversary of his first title at the All England Club, Murray rolled back the years with a performance showcasing all his famous grit, skill and grass-court expertise to lead 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 on Thursday – but struggled to get back into the swing of play as it resumed today.
His wife Kim watched from the stands this afternoon alongside his mother Judy Murray, while Tsitsipas’ girlfriend Paula Badosa – who retired from her second-round Wimbledon clash against Marta Kostyuk earlier today – was also spotted in the players’ box.
But to the disappointment of many Brits, he ultimately lost the match 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 6-7, 5-7.
Brits were briefly playing on all three show courts at Wimbledon, with Cameron Norrie playing on Number One Court and Liam Broady on Court 2.
Andy Murray’s wife Kim takes her seat in Centre Court to watch what promises to be another fantastic contest
Tsitsipas’ girlfriend Paula Badosa (left) – who retired from her second-round Wimbledon clash against Marta Kostyuk earlier today – was also spotted in the players’ box
Murray delivers a serve during his match on Centre Court this afternoon
Murray reacts in anger at himself after losing a crucial point in the fourth set tiebreak
Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after winning against Britain’s Andy Murray during their men’s singles match
Crowds on the Hill were tightly packed and waving Scottish flags as they watched the game
The Hill at Wimbledon filled up as tennis fans watch Andy Murray return to Centre Court today, on the tenth anniversary of his first Wimbledon title win – but despite their best efforts, they were unable to help the Brit to another win.
Sue Bisdee, from Chichester, and her daughter Poppy, 34, decided to watch Murray from the Hill rather than sit in their Court 2 seats.
The 69-year-old revealed she is the granddaughter of British tennis player Algernon Kingscote, who played at Wimbledon.
Ms Bisdee said: ‘We used to get very lucky. We used to get tickets every day. Sometimes when it’s raining they talk about him [on television].’
The players were facing tough conditions on the court as temperatures approached 30C on Friday.
Centre Court was packed to the brim as thousands of Murray fans cheered the British favourite on, urging him to complete the win.
As the match resumed, the players were in a close contest and stormed through to 4-4 in the fourth set.
Andy Murray then put up a determined fight to bring Tsitsipas’ fifth service came to 40 all – but couldn’t convert that into a break.
Painfully, he was 15-30 up before a winning point was called out. He decided not to challenge, but a graphic later showed the shot had been in, which would have given him two break points against his rival.
He rallied to take his own service came confidently, at 40-15. The fourth set went to a tiebreak shortly afterwards.
Unlike the first two tiebreaks yesterday, this was a tense affair and Murray let out a rare shout of frustration after missing a key shot.
He had a steep hill to climb to avoid a fifth set after eventually reaching 3-6 down in the tiebreak – and Tsitsipas closed out the set at the first opportunity.
Murray succeeded in effectively resetting, however, taking the first game of the final set 40-0.
But at his next game he faced a 0-40 climb, and lost the third break point to hand Tsitsipas a 2-1 lead.
Several games later, the crowd rallied the two-time Wimbledon winner to another hold, and Murray prepared to once again face the powerful serve of his opponent at 5-6 down.
As the Greek prepared to serve for the match win, the crowd once again urged the Brit on. He brought the game to deuce, but was ultimately unable to break the Greek’s tough serve, losing the final set 5-7.
Elsewhere, Cameron Norrie lost out in round two to the USA’s Chris Eubanks in four sets.
There were boos when it was announced Murray’s match would be halted with 20 minutes still to go until the cut-off point last night, with the Brit asking referee Gerry Armstrong ‘why?’ when he was told it would be stopped due to local council rules.
Kim Sears, wife of Britain’s Andy Murray, in the player box before his second round match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas
There is a superb atmosphere on Centre Court for the resumption of Murray’s game
The Scotsman takes strength from a solid point amid the tense atmosphere earlier today
Andy Murray looks disappointed as he walks off Centre Court following a hard five-set battle
The two players embrace at the end of the game, which took more than four hours to complete
Murray acknowledges the crowds before leaving the court on Friday evening
The match ended after Tsitsipas won the fifth and final set 7-5 against his opponent
Thousands gather on the Hill at Wimbledon to watch Andy Murray’s match against fifth seed Tsitsipas
Tennis fans watch closely from the Hill, near to a stand selling Pimm’s
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece gestures towards the umpire in frustration during the fourth set
Andy Murray returns a ball using a backhand stroke in the fourth set
Murray’s mother Judy watches closely as her son enters the fifth and final set
Paula Badosa watches her boyfriend, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, on Centre Court today
Judy Murray smiles as she prepares to watch her son do battle on Centre Court today
Tommy Fleetwood looks on with Wife, Clare Fleetwood during the Men’s Singles second round match with Murray on centre court
Andy Murray reacts as he hits back a ball during the fourth set at Wimbledon
Tsitsipas chases after a forehand ball from Andy Murray as the fourth tie entered a tense tiebreak
Tsitsipas’ powerful serve has proven a challenge for the Brit
Murray strains to reach a tricky shot from the Greek fifth seed
Spectators walk around the grounds during day five of The Championships Wimbledon
Tsitsipas celebrates after winning the fourth set tiebreak
People watch the second round of Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas and Britain’s Andy Murray Wimbledon match on the big screen in St James’s Market, London
A ball boy or girl carries spare tennis balls during day five of The Championships Wimbledon 2023
The two-time Wimbledon champion (right) walks out onto Centre Court alongside Stefanos Tsitsipas
Fans watch from the hill during the Men’s Singles second round match between Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas
Murray stretches to retrieve a low show fired by Tsitsipas
Tsitsipas in action on Day 5 of Wimbledon, as his second round match against Murray entered its second day
Andy Murray was fighting to stay in the fifth set on Friday afternoon
Murray seemed to be unhappy with the decision but the delay gave him more time to recover after a hugely concerning moment at set point when the Scot screamed in pain and fell to the ground clutching his left groin.
Mercifully he quickly got to his feet and clinched the set with a serve that drew a Tsitsipas error.
Liam Broady’s five-set win over Casper Ruud earlier on Thursday on Centre Court meant this match did not begin until after 7.30pm, with Murray looking to emulate his less-heralded compatriot by taking out a top-five seed.
For the first time since his second Wimbledon title in 2016, the Scot had arrived at the All England Club feeling fit and healthy, and he declared after dropping just four games to Ryan Peniston in round one that he was playing well enough to beat most of his rivals in the draw.
Murray may no longer be right at the top of the game but he knows his way around a grass court better than most, and there are few of the younger generation who relish competing on the surface.
Tsitsipas is certainly much more comfortable on clay and hard courts, with his best performance here so far a run to the fourth round five years ago.
He had needed two days and five sets to get past Dominic Thiem in round one while Murray had the luxury of the roof for his clash with Peniston, and the court was covered again as they stepped out, with little chance the match could be completed in daylight.
The atmosphere rippled with excitement and both players struck the ball crisply from the start, with not so much as a deuce until the 12th game, when an ill-advised HawkEye challenge from Murray on a ball that clipped the baseline left him facing break point.
He responded with his own forehand on to the line, yelling ‘let’s go’ when Tsitsipas missed the opposite sideline, and into a tie-break they went.
There the Greek took a page from Novak Djokovic’s book of how to play flawless tie-breaks, a series of exceptional points giving him the advantage and letting a little air out of the Centre Court balloon.
Tsitsipas has saved some of his best tennis for the grand slams this year, reaching a second final at the Australian Open, where he came up against the unstoppable Djokovic, and the last eight in Paris.
In the second set Murray was hanging on as Tsitsipas’ forehand really caught fire, the 24-year-old powering 11 clean winners off that side.
But Murray avoided giving up any break points and got his reward, with Tsitsipas finally making a few mistakes to slip to 6-2 adrift.
Murray used all his home advantage, lingering around the net and whipping up the crowd, and a huge roar greeted the next point.
Murray slipped on the turf at set point in the third set yesterday night
Murray speaks to the referee after his match against Stefanos Tsitsipas was suspended
Brits are now playing on all three show courts at Wimbledon, with Cameron Norrie playing on Number One Court
Meanwhile, Liam Broady is in action against Denis Shapovalov on Court Two
At their only previous grand slam meeting, at the US Open in 2021, Murray said he had lost respect for his opponent over the length of his toilet breaks during a five-set loss for the Scot.
The rules have since changed but Tsitsipas, who had referred to the court as Murray’s living room, was booed on his return from an extended break to change his clothes.
The Greek carried his disappointment into the third set and Murray pounced immediately, creating his first break points of the match and breaking to love.
Tsitsipas recovered his composure and forced two break points in the fourth game but Murray’s serve was now purring and he appeared set to clinch the set comfortably prior to his unfortunate slip.