Andy Murray last night refused to consider himself favourite for Wimbledon following the shock defeat of reigning champion Novak Djokovic and stressed: “The bookies have made a few mistakes recently.”
Djokovic was beaten in four sets by America’s Sam Querrey while the Scot disposed of John Millman of Australia in three, although he admitted when news of the Serb’s exit rippled round Centre Court it stopped him in his tracks.
“Obviously if you see a result like that you think about it – that’s natural,” he said. Djokovic’s defeat was flashed up on Murray’s scoreboard during a change-of-ends break in a tough second set for the No.2 seed. “But it was something that went through my mind for ten to 15 seconds. After that I got on with my match. What happened to Novak was irrelevant to me today. I needed to win my match and I did a good job of that.”
Murray will play either Spain’s Feliciano Lopez or another Australian, Nick Kyrgios, in Monday’s fourth round. “If – if – I was to reach the final then it [Djokovic’s exit] may have some bearing but it doesn’t right now,” he said. “My draw’s still exactly the same. The matches, in the next round especially, are tough, Nick and Feli are both very, very good grass court players.” Then, probably in a reference to the Euro referendum, he added: “The bookies don’t always get it right. They’ve made a few mistakes over the last few weeks. You know, my job is to go out there and try to win the matches that are there in front of me.”
Was Murray shocked that Djokovic had been toppled by Querrey? “I don’t know exactly what happened out there but when Sam’s serving well he’s very difficult to beat, especially on grass. The run that Novak has had has been incredible so everyone expects him to win every match. But, you know, history suggests that that’s not going to happen. There’s going to be a match where maybe you don’t play your best, and your opponent plays great tennis.
“Rather than it being sort of a surprise, though, [Djokovic’s run] should really be celebrated now – I mean, it’s incredible.
“He broke a number of records, winning all four slams and what was it, 30 consecutive slam matches. It’s amazing. Obviously I would imagine today he’ll be disappointed and stuff. But looking back, it’s been probably the best 12 months in tennis for years.”
Murray praised Millman – beaten 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 – for giving him a tough match. “He’s a very fit guy, has a great attitude and doesn’t give you many free points. When he gets into a rhythm he’s hard to play because he makes you work for every single point.”
Millman said of the game: “I left it all out there, Andy was too good.”