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Sir Andy Murray and his Friend Nick Kyrgios and Nine Other Players Win Five-Setters on Dramatic Day at Wimbledon

Andy Murray celebrates winning against Oscar Otte of Germany during their second round match at the Wimbledon Championships, 30 June 2021. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

By Ricky Dimon

Following a ton of rain on the first two days at Wimbledon, Wednesday’s schedule was jam-packed…weather permitting.

Well, the weather cooperated. And so did the tennis.

On a thrilling day of first and second-round action at the All-England Club, the best was saved for last. Andy Murray played the nightcap on Centre Court and battled to a 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over German qualifier Oscar Otte. For the second straight match, Murray endured a mid-match mental vacation before recovering to win in dramatic fashion. He had previously defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 after blowing a 5-0 lead in the third set.

Andy Murray in action against Oscar Otte during their second round match at the Wimbledon Championships, 30 June 2021. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

Murray’s latest hiccup resulted in the loss of two sets as opposed to just one, but once again he righted the ship when it mattered most. The 34-year-old Scot improved everything about his game–especially his movement–over the final two sets against Otte and ended up triumphing in three hours and 51 minutes.

“It’s been tough,” said Murray, who is playing singles at Wimbledon for the first time since 2017. “But one of the reasons why I’m still playing is because of moments like that. Like, why would you want to give that up? The atmosphere the last…I mean, it was good the whole match…but especially the last sort of hour and a half was brilliant.”

“It was really good match,” Otte commented. “It was tough fight. In the end, of course (it was) better for Andy. I enjoyed every minute on the court; I left everything on the court…. Of course the result could have been better, but it wasn’t like that.

“(The) atmosphere was crazy; yeah, just unreal. I enjoyed it, although they were all cheering for Andy. I tried to take as much good energy as possible also from the spectators. It was unreal to play on Centre Court.”

Earlier in the day on Court 1, Nick Kyrgios and Ugo Humbert continued their curfew-delayed contest at 3-3 in the fifth. Kyrgios secured the crucial break at 7-7 and then fought off two break points in the next game to prevail 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 9-7.

Nick Kyrgios (L) greets Ugo Humbert after their 1st round match at the Wimbledon Championships, 30 June 2021. EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

“It’s always an honor to play against Nick,” said Humbert, who also lost in five to Kyrgios at the 2021 Australian Open. “When he’s playing good, he’s one of the best players. It was really fun on court. It was a really big match. I’m very proud of myself. It was a big game; really big game.”

“Obviously going out there and playing Wimbledon on Court 1, packed crowd, against one of the best players in the world at the moment, one of the most in-form players, it’s a lot of fun,” Kyrgios explained. “I enjoy going out there. Yesterday the crowd was thanking me. They’re like, ‘Thank you, Nick, for keeping me so entertained.'”

A total of 11 five-setters entertained the Wimbledon crowd throughout the grounds on Thursday. The results:

  • Andy Murray d. (Q) Oscar Otte 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
  • Nick Kyrgios d. (21) Ugo Humbert 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 9-7
  • (13) Gael Monfils d. (Q) Christopher O’Connell 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4
  • (WC) Carlos Alcaraz d. (LL) Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
  • Mikael Ymer d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 6-7(4), 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
  • Marcos Giron d. Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 0-6, 6-4
  • Jordan Thompson d. (12) Casper Ruud 7-6(6), 7-6(3), 2-6, 2-6, 6-2
  • Yoshihito Nishioka d. (28) John Isner 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4
  • (Q) Benjamin Bonzi d. (Q) Marco Trungelliti 6-1, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
  • Dominik Koepfer d. Soonwoo Kwon 6-3, 6-7(8), 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-3
  • (17) Cristian Garin d. (Q) Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-7(6), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.