The arrival of the world’s most widely watched and popular tennis tournament got underway this week, with Andy Murray having bounced back from a near miss on Centre Court on Wednesday night (June 30) in his round two match against 151th-ranked German player Oscar Otte.
Murray took the three hour and fifty one minutes match into a fifth set after tying with Otte, but once the roof was closed over Centre Court for the night he stormed to victory with a 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 6-2, 7-5 triumph.
This comes after he made a stunning return to Centre Court on Monday in a triumphant 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 victory over the hard-hitting 24th seed Georgian Basilashvili, as Murray reminded fans and fellow competitors that he is still a force to be reckoned with on grass despite his injury struggles in recent years.
The first big tournament upset occurred on Tuesday (June 29) as seven-time Wimbledon Grand Slam winner Serena Williams was forced to retire following an injury in her first round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, with Murray taking to Twitter to criticise the “extremely slippy” Centre Court throwing several big names off their game.
A daunting moment in Wednesday night’s dramatic match also came as Murray slipped on the court and seemed to be down with an injury before rallying.
With Wimbledon 2021 set to be an exciting one following a year out of action due to the coronavirus pandemic, here’s everything you need to know about Murray’s chances this year.
When and who is Andy Murray playing today?
Andy Murray’s next match in round three of the tournament is scheduled against 22-year-old Canadian player Denis Shapovalov for 6.10pm today (July 2) on Centre Court.
This time could change, however, depending on the length of earlier matches, with Brit Dan Evans taking on US player Sebastian Korda on Wimbledon’s main court in the early afternoon.
Shapovalov, seeded 10th at Wimbledon after taking first place in 2019’s Men’s Singles Grand Slam, is ranked 12th worldwide.
With Novak Djokovic appearing in the third round after beating South African rival Kevin Anderson in a defiant 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory on Wednesday (June 30), other players set to feature in Wimbledon’s third round include Roger Federer, Nick Kyrgios, Frances Tiafoe and British player Cameron Norrie.
Norrie is set to take on Swiss champ Federer in what will no doubt be a nail-biting match on Saturday July 3.
Having won three grand slams in total during his sporting career so far, Murray has said he is eager to rise to the challenge of Wimbledon and the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
The Scottish star and Wimbledon champion in 2013 and 2016 took to Centre Court on Monday just after 6pm, playing to his strengths to beat 24th seeded Georgian player Nikoloz Basilashvili and rebounding from his knock-out from the Queen’s Club by top seed Italian Matteo Berrettini.
At the end of his whirlwind performance last night (June 30), Murray praised the crowd:
“What an atmosphere to play in at the end.
“I needed everyone’s help tonight and they did a great job.”
He added: “Because of the lack of matches in the important moments I didn’t make the right decisions a lot of the time.
“But I think I played the right way for the last couple of sets.
"Hopefully I’ll come out on Friday and play in another atmosphere like this and hopefully perform well.”
What’s Andy Murray’s seed and ranking?
With a current ranking of 118, Murray wasn’t eligible for direct qualification to Wimbledon this year.
This means that had he not been brought in as a wildcard entry for Wimbledon 2021 by the tournament’s organising committee, he would not have been competing in this year’s competition.
As such, Murray was initially not seeded among the top 32 seeds as being those with the highest chances of winning the competition.
While ranking is calculated through cumulative Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) points scored across tournaments, seeding points to the likelihood of a player winning a specific tournament.
Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, is seeded first and Roger Federer sixth.
Visit the Wimbledon website here to find out more.
How many times has Andy Murray won Wimbledon?
The Scot has won Wimbledon on two occasions previously.
Once in 2013 and another in 2016. The last British man to win at SW19 prior to Murray was Fred Perry in 1936.