Andy Murray looks to extend Wimbledon comeback against Denis Shapovalov
Andy Murray faces the biggest test of his Wimbledon comeback today when he takes on 10th seed Denis Shapovalov for a place in the fourth round.
The two-time champion was centre stage in another night of drama at SW19 on Wednesday, coming back from two sets to one down to defeat inspired German qualifier Oscar Otte.
As in his opening match against Nikoloz Basilashvili, Murray appeared to have a grip on the contest only to play himself into, and then out of, trouble.
The result is that the 34-year-old, who had not won back-to-back matches at grand slam level for four years prior to this week, has been on court for more than seven hours already.
He said of his inconsistency: “I think it’s lack of match play, personally. In both the matches, I was up and playing well, and in good positions. There just was not the concentration and stuff and the focus that’s required to play.
“I think once you start to play more matches again and get into that rhythm and get used to winning again, it becomes a bit more instinctive, a bit more natural. It’s just been a bit tough so far.”
Murray is unlikely to get away with the same lapses against 22-year-old Canadian Shapovalov, one of the most exciting young talents.
He survived a two-day, five-set tussle with Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round before being given a free pass into round two when opponent Pablo Andujar withdrew.
The pair have never played before, but it is likely to be another nerve-shredding occasion for Murray’s family and friends, who are all too used to angst-filled evenings on Centre Court.
The Scot said: “When I watch back the highlights of the Wimbledon final in 2013, seeing my mum in the crowd and at the end of the match, when I had the match points and then he (Novak Djokovic) came back in that game and stuff, I found that quite difficult to watch, actually.
“To see how hard it was for my mum and my wife. I kind of realised then what it must be like for them. But that was in the most intense of matches and intense of moments. They should be used to it by now.”
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