Wimbledon: Murray revels in Centre Court atmosphere after fighting back from the brink

By Sports Desk June 30, 2021

Andy Murray reveled in a raucous Centre Court atmosphere after he fought back to keep himself in Wimbledon contention.

Murray had to defy the odds once more to overcome qualifier Oscar Otte 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-4 6-2 in a thrilling contest which lasted almost four hours.

Having led by a set and a break, Murray squandered his advantage to Wimbledon debutant Otte, who capitalised on the Scot's slip ups to take a 2-1 lead by the time bad light forced the players off.

But the break did Murray the world of good, with the former world number one winning seven of the next nine games with the full backing of a thoroughly one-sided crowd under the closed roof.

The 34-year-old was leaping in joy and punching the air when he held off Otte to hold serve and take a 5-2 lead in the deciding set, before he sealed the win with a deft lob shot to prove he still has the quality to go with his spirit.

"I enjoyed the end! The middle part, not so much! What an atmosphere to play in at the end. The whole crowd was amazing but there was a few guys in there getting me fired up," a thrilled, yet drained, Murray told BBC Sport. 

"I needed everyone's help tonight, they did a great job. I hit some great shots at the end to finish it but it was a tough match."

Murray's battle with Otte came just two days after a similarly tough contest against Nikoloz Basilashvili, and despite starting Wednesday's second-round tie well, the two-time Wimbledon champion knows he almost let the match slip away.

"I had to do something differently and started going for my shots more, dictating more of my points, I was being a little bit negative," Murray said when asked if the break in play helped him recover.

"Because of the lack of matches, in the important moments I didn't make the right decision a lot of the time but I think I played the right way in the last couple of sets. The first set and a half was really good but there was just bits in the middle I'd like to change.

"Obviously tired, I fell over a couple of times, they're pretty slick courts but considering everything I feel all right, hips feel pretty good, I get a rest day tomorrow and hopefully will come out on Friday and play in another atmosphere like this and perform well."

Murray has already accumulated over seven hours of time on court over his first two matches, and he now faces 10th seed Denis Shapovalov, who was handed a walkover on Wednesday due to Pablo Andujar's rib injury.

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