Wimbledon 2021: Andy Murray survives mini scare to win first comeback match at SW19 since 2017


British tennis star Andy Murray on Monday won his first singles match at Wimbledon since 2017 after he beat Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4 6-3 5-7 6-3. Murray, who last won at Wimbledon in 2017 before being forced to stay away from the game for a prolonged period due to injuries, had to face a mini scare in the third set when he squandered away two match points before losing the set 5-7.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Murray was leading the match 6-4, 6-3, 5-0 and had two match points when he began to falter spectacularly, allowing the 24th seed Basilashvili to make comeback into the match. The Georgian won seven straight games to win the third set.

The mini-break to shut the Centre Court’s roof appeared to help Murray, now ranked 118th in the world, as he returned with renewed vigour and won the fourth set 6-3 to progress into the second round. He may face either Germany’s Oscar Otte or France’s Arthur Rinderknech in the second round.

Speaking after the match, Murray said, “I was really disappointed I had lost the third set and had to remember what I was doing to get into the winning position. I managed to turn it back around.”

In another match at the Centre Court, top seed Novak Djokovic too had to face a minor scare after he lost his first set to wild card British player Jack Draper, who’s ranked 250 in the world. Djokovic recovered from an early upset and won the match 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-2.

Speaking about the young British talent, Djokovic said, “He definitely deserves a round of applause, he’s a youngster, only 19, and hadn’t played too much prior to Queen’s.” He added, “Walking on to Wimbledon Centre Court for the first time, I think he has done extremely well and played maturely. I wish him all the best for the rest of his career.”

In another big match, this year’s French Open finalist, Stefanos Tsitsipas, lost to American Frances Tiafoe in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

The first day at Wimbledon also saw the two-time champion Petra Kvitova being knocked out of the competition by Sloane Stephens in a women’s singles match.