Andy Murray did not know. As he was requested to dissect his loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas within the second spherical of Wimbledon–a rollicking five-setter that lasted greater than 4 1/2 hours unfold over two days earlier than a packed Centre Courtroom stuffed with 1000’s of his closest and loudest friends–Murray began solutions to query after query at his information convention Friday with some variation of that theme.
It was, probably, a verbal crutch, one thing used to assemble his ideas earlier than providing a extra full response. It additionally embodied the uncertainty that appears to encompass a former No 1 participant who owns three Grand Slam titles, two on the All England Membership, but additionally is now 36 and with a man-made hip after two operations.
Was it tougher to simply accept this 7-6 (3), 6-7 (2), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 defeat, given each how shut it was and all he is been by? “I do not know, to be trustworthy,” Murray’s reply started.
Did the match change as a result of it was suspended Thursday at 10.40pm, proper after he’d taken a two-sets-to-one lead, as a result of guidelines forestall play after 11pm? “I do not know, to be trustworthy.”
How irritating was it that the competition was placed on maintain for almost 18 hours? “Effectively, you by no means know what would have occurred.”
Does the participant forward in that circumstance wish to preserve enjoying, whereas the participant trailing prefers to cease?” I do not know.” Will he return to Wimbledon subsequent 12 months? “I do not know.”
“I am clearly very disenchanted simply now. You by no means know what number of alternatives you are going to get to play right here,” Murray mentioned. “The defeats, possibly really feel a bit harder. However, to be trustworthy, yearly that Wimbledon’s not gone how I would really like, it has been arduous,” he mentioned.
This was his second consecutive exit within the second spherical on the website of three of his best triumphs: the 2012 Olympic gold medal and the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon championships. His trophy a decade in the past was the primary for a British man on the All England Membership in singles in 77 years.
Murray has not been previous the third spherical at any main since attending to the 2017 quarterfinals at Wimbledon.
“I imply, finally this was a chance for me. I had a very good likelihood of getting a correct run for the primary time in a very long time at a Slam. I did not take it,” he mentioned, and bit on the collar of his white T-shirt.
On the purpose earlier than motion was halted Thursday, Murray slipped and fell on the baseline. He referred to as it jarring and mentioned he felt some preliminary ache and discomfort, however wouldn’t characterize it as an harm and mentioned he was ‘OK’ when motion resumed Friday.
“It is by no means straightforward towards Andy. I do know everybody loves him right here, mentioned the No 5-seeded Tsitsipas, a two-time runner-up at majors, together with on the Australian Open in January.”
All in all, Friday was tough for the native followers: The opposite two British males left within the bracket, No 12 Cam Norrie and wild-card entry Liam Broady, had been despatched residence, too. Norrie was defeated by Chris Eubanks of america 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (3), and Broady misplaced to No. 26 Denis Shapovalov of Canada 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, 7-5.
At night time, Novak Djokovic moved into the fourth spherical as he pursues some extra important numbers a fifth consecutive title at Wimbledon; an eighth general there; a twenty fourth from all majors by making fast work of Stan Wawrinka 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (5). Djokovic trailed 5-3 within the closing tiebreaker earlier than reeling off the final 4 factors.
No 7 Andrey Rublev and No 8 Jannik Sinner additionally each acquired to the fourth spherical, whereas No 1 Carlos Alcaraz and No 3 Daniil Medvedev reached the third. The No 1 lady, Iga Swiatek, made her approach into the fourth spherical she’s by no means been additional on the All England Membership as did No 4 Jessica Pegula; No 2 Aryna Sabalenka, two-time champion Petra Kvitova and 2022 runner-up Ons Jabeur moved into the third spherical. However No. 5 Caroline Garcia was a 7-6 (0), 4-6, 7-5 loser towards No. 32 Marie Bouzkova.
As a result of it was so late by the point Murray and Tsitsipas took the courtroom Thursday, the retractable roof was closed.
It was open Friday afternoon: After a lot rain earlier within the week, the pale blue sky was unencumbered by clouds, and a few of us sitting on the aspect of the stadium blanketed by sun-flapped followers with the temperature at 85 levels Fahrenheit (30 levels Celsius).
Tsitsipas drew hearty boos when he disputed a ruling in Friday’s second sport, however he by no means appeared rattled throughout factors. He took the final 4 factors of the fourth-set tiebreaker Friday simply as he did within the first-set tiebreaker Thursday then broke early within the fifth to steer 2-1 and was on his approach.
“He is somebody who will make it a marathon, no matter whether or not you need it or not,” mentioned Tsitsipas, whose girlfriend and combined doubles companion, Paula Badosa, watched from his visitor field after she stopped enjoying throughout her match earlier Friday due to a nasty again.
“I needed to work additional arduous as we speak to get that victory. My legs are sore proper now. He made me run left and proper, up and down.”
Every participant solely broke the opposite as soon as. Murray’s capacity to return is one in all his many elite abilities, and he was upset at himself for not managing to do extra harm to the serves coming off the racket of Tsitsipas.
One pivotal second got here with Tsitsipas serving at 4-all, 15-30 within the fourth set. Murray hit a brief, sharply angled backhand return that was referred to as out by a line choose and chair umpire Aurlie Tourte; a TV graphic replay confirmed the ball truly clipped the chalk and will have counted.
“It was proper beneath the umpire’s nostril,” Murray mentioned. He’ll in all probability take into consideration that one some extra. He is additionally probably to consider what else went mistaken towards Tsitsipas.
Murray spoke earlier than the event about having an thought how for much longer he’ll keep on tour. “I do not plan to cease proper now. However this one will take a short while to recover from, he mentioned Friday. Hopefully discover the motivation once more to maintain coaching, preserve pushing, attempt to preserve getting higher.” In different phrases, he would not know exactly what the longer term holds.