Andy Murray received a legitimate scare today for the first time at Wimbledon. In a tournament filled with upsets that saw the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fall by the wayside, Murray had previously gone untouched. That changed today, as Murray received all he could handle from unseeded Fernando Verdasco, yet found a way to survive and advance.
While many fans were chalking up his win against Fernando Verdasco as soon as they saw the match up, Murray knew that he was in for a challenge in an interview on Monday. “Verdasco is a very, very good tennis player,” Murray, a number two seed in the tournament said. “Very good at tennis. He’s playing very well this week. He’s extremely dangerous when he’s on his game.”
Although fans may have overlooked Verdasco as a challenge, he showed up ready to play and score the upset of his career today. Verdasco appeared to be ready to make a comeback on his career. He was previously ranked as high as number seven in the world back in 2009, but currently the 29 year old is currently ranked number 29. However he was playing at a high level and took the first two sets of today’s match. At the conclusion of the second set, Murray’s fans at the All England Club began to look shocked.
Initially the serve of Verdasco threw Murray off his game. One of the best servers in the tournament, Verdasco is able to hit 130 miles per hour with his powerful left handed serve. His deadly accuracy around the lines made his serve especially difficult for Murray.
Murray was up 3-1 in the second set before dropping five straight games to fall behind 2-0 in the match. After he failed to convert three straight break points to drop the second set, he was visibly angry with himself and yelling on the court. “I was up, 3-1, and then made some bad mistakes, poor choices on the court,” Murray described after his victory today.
But then things turned around for Murray and he was able to keep his emotions in check, something he was unable to consistently do earlier in his career. The crowd got behind their lone hope to bring the Wimbledon title back to England for the first time since 1936. After that second game, the crowd became “extremely noisy. They were right into it pretty much every single point,” according to Murray.
He took a 3-0 lead in the third set, and didn’t look back. The set finished 6-1 and his comeback had begun. The match wound up finishing with a score of 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5, and Murray proved that he has the ability to survive and advance on one of the biggest stages in all of tennis.
After finding a way to survive his first major scare of Wimbledon, Murray has earned the right to advance another day in the tournament and will now face off against world number 24 Jerzy Janowicz. Murray had not lost a set in the entire tournament heading into today.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express