MURRAY BEATS OTTE: 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-4 6-2 OTTE. An outstanding lob from Murray gives him a 30-15 lead over Otte, and it’s now 40-15. Two break points to come for Murray’s biggest win, perhaps, since his first comeback. And he only needs one. A clipped lob over Otte secures him a win. He comes to the net and the pair have an extended and warm chat between one another. He takes the applause from the crowd and seems slightly overwhelmed by it all. He lobs his sweatbands to the crowd and he shakes his head, perhaps in disbelief.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-4 5-2 OTTE. 30-30 in Murray’s next service game, and he remains inconsistent with the ball bouncing between his feet. Perhaps the shot of the match, a huge, whipped forehand that rips past Otte across him, moves him onto 40-30, before a return down the line was agonisingly close to in, but it’s ruled out correctly – we’re onto deuce. Murray wins the advantage when high, slow return from Otte drops out of play. The German’s brave approach play then earns another deuce. Murray finally correctly watches a smashed volley and he moves to advantage. An extended rally then has him send a player out of the lines and we’re back at deuce. A tight ace is ruled in Murray’s favour, but he follows up serving the next into the net and he then finally races to the net to guide a shot past Otte and he is a single game from victory.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-4 4-2 OTTE. Otte might be really losing his way now, as a return close to the net is sent long under little pressure. Murray hits the net on the second, but he is clearly the more aggressive of the pair now. Some quick exchanges at the net is lost by Murray, who decides to genuflect with some industrial observations. Otte serves an ace for 40-15. Murray now moans about a flash from the crowd, who boo in support of his complaint. He wins the next. 40-30, before a poor return gives Otte the game.
‘Most excited I’ve ever seen him on Centre Court’ – Murray wows Wilander
6 HOURS AGO
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-4 4-1 OTTE. Otte gets a few boos for disputing an appeal that goes against him, claiing the umpire’s call affected his return. Murray wins the next point on his serve, moving him to 40-0. A drop-shot allows Otte to come to the net, and Murray’s attempted lob is simply swatted into space. 40-15. Murray then holds on the next point.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-4 3-1 OTTE. Otte’s turn to have a full and frank discussion with himself as Murray moves into a 30-15 lead, but it’s soon back to 30-30.
Ah, and now Murray, straining for a ball towards the back of the court, slips on the ground and appears to injure his knee. A quick complaint to the ref about the conditions, and back we go.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-4 3-0 OTTE. Murray screams with his first successful serve of the game. A second set is easily dealt with by Otte, and Murray finds the net on one of his returns. More yelling at himself with a loose return that goes out of bounds. A drop-shot from Murray gives Otte a chance to race forward, but he can’t quite lift it over the net, and we’re level at 30-30. Otte sends a shot long in the next point, and Murray needs to hold to go 3-0 up. He should do it when he can punt a sitter away from Otte, only to smash it into the net. Deuce. An astonishing drop-shot from out wide gives Murray advantage. His first service hits the net, as does the return on his second. More self-reflection in the form of shouting. An error from Otte gives Murray another chance to settle things here. But he sends one of his efforts long. This game, and this match, will never, ever end, We are here forever. Murray finally gets over the line when Otte hoiks a return down the line, a few inches out.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-4 2-0 OTTE. Otte is serving, but that isn’t holding back Murray for now. He’s 30-15 up and making his rival run around the court. He does the same again and it’s now 40-15. Two break points. Otte saves the first, but can’t reach Murray’s disguised dropshot, and Murray has broken.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-4 1-0 OTTE. Murray moves into a 40-0 lead on his serve and then swats Otte aside.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-4 OTTE. Murray moves into a 30-0 lead. He attempts to clip a shot down the line to earn three break points, but it’s just wide. and now Otte has halved the deficit, only for Murray to attack the net and deftly dink the ball away from his rival. Two break points. A fault from Otte ups the pressure yet further and Murray replies brutally.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 5-4 OTTE. Murray is serving for the set. He sends his opponent around the court to make room for a winning shot, and it’s 30-15. Two points from the set. Murray then screams at himself in frustration when a shot hits the net. One of the words I heard I think was ‘practice’. 30-30. Murray then gives himself another reason to admonish just exactly who he is as a human, and Otte has an advantage. We’re now into our fourth hour… and Murray is broken.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 5-3 OTTE. Otte holds without fuss.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 5-2 OTTE. Murray moves onto 30-15 after an appeal of a shot that looked out, but was ruled in. A decent serve moves him onto 40-15, and an error concedes the game to give Murray a huge chance to keep us all up past our bedtimes.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 4-2 OTTE. Two points in quick succession for Murray as he starts to put the pressure on his opponent. That pressure brings a fault from his first serve. Then a let. Murray establishes himself in the point until Otte sends it long and Murray now has three break points. An exceptional ace from Otte bring silence from the crowd. But Murray breaks when Otte sends a crosscourt shot wide!
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 3-2 OTTE. Murray sees his opponent come forward to reach his drop-shot, and then blasts a return fizzing past Otte for the first point of the restart. Otte then levels as Murray floats his return in order to move to the net. A thundering ace moves him 40-15 clear, and he should hold from here, barring disaster. Murray should finish things when Otte sends him a looping return, only to welly it into the top of the net. Otte then sends his effort into the net.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 2-2 OTTE. Otte holds, and now we’re level.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 2-1 OTTE. Murray back in charge of the serve and he takes it to deuce. There’s a huge rally and after the pair strain at their returns, until Murray plays into the space his opponent leaves. He has advantage, and promptly loses it. Back to square one. A long return from Otte moves it back to advantage Murray. Otte slips and Murray’s return sails by.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 1-0 OTTE. Murray attemps to change direction, and slips. He lets out a cry of pain as he grabs his groin. Clearly, this is worrying. He get a huge cheer from the crowd as he returns, and then stumbles on the next point. It does not look linked to his groin, but who knows? The next point, he barely makes an attempt to go for. This could be it. Otte attacks and Murray isn’t moving properly. If this is his last Wimbledon, you would imagine Murray won’t retire easily.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 1-0 OTTE. Murray serving now. He is forced to deuce and controls a decent rally from Otte to take an advantage, before an unforced error takes it back to deuce, but he is able told finally hold.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-6 OTTE. Two set points for Otte, and he serves strongly to force his way through to a 2-1 lead.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 4-5 OTTE. Murray holds. Otte will have to serve for the set if he wants it.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 3-5 OTTE. Otte races into a 40-0 lead as Murray, with legs like tree trunks, fails to get any accuracy on his returns, and that’s it.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 3-4 OTTE. Murray appears to yelp, ‘Belter.’ Any guesses?
I am reliably informed that he’s saying, ‘FILTER.’ So perhaps he is making some rollies between sets.
Murray is 30-0 down now, and has to go to his second service. He hits the net.
One break point is saved. He needs two more without an eff-up. A heavy return on the stretch takes it to 30-40 in Otte’s favour.
Now there’s a fault on a curling, narrow serve. The second serve isn’t bad, but he makes an error, and that’s it.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 3-3 OTTE. This is a pivotal set and Otte will not give it up at all easily. Murray has a few chances to apply serious pressure but he can’t and the German holds serve to level up once more.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 3-2 OTTE. Murray is back in front but it’s not smooth sailing for the Brit as he has to fend off Otte repeatedly. This match has the smell of a five-setter, that’s for sure!
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 2-2 OTTE. Otte holds serve with a minimum of fuss and Murray is yelling at his box in frustration. The German is so hard to put away with his tenacity from the back of the court.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 2-1 OTTE. Another strong service game from Murray gives him a slight advantage.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 1-1 OTTE. An extended rally brings Otte a 30-15 advantage, causing Murray to scream into the ether. I imagine we all feel like that sometimes. He then drags the game back to 30-30, setting us up for a match which will presumably never end, at this point. Otte holds his nerve, emboldened again, and it’s back to 1-1.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 1-0 OTTE. Murray holds his serve to move 1-0 ahead.
MURRAY 6-3 4-6 OTTE. Otte glides into a 30-0 lead, two points from the second set. His 27th winner gifts him three set points, but he wastes his first chance with a heavy return, only for Murray to give away the next point.
MURRAY 6-3 4-5 OTTE. Otte moves 30-15 up in the set, and now it’s 40-15 with an error from the Scot. His head has absolutely gone, but it’s not quite clear why. He isn’t under pressure, Otte isn’t doing anything special. He’s just elsewhere. He has to serve to stay in the set now. and Otte’s slip gives him a chance, and he dinks a ball that just dribbles over the net. Another set point to negotiate, at least. Otte comes up short as he races to the net, and now it’s deuce. Otte, too, is frazzled here. A hefty serve from Murray brings an error and advantage. A fault now from Murray, and the second service sees him loops a dreadful return for another deuce. This is exhausting stuff from the pair, and almost irritatingly sloppy. Next, some booming forehand work from Murray brings him another advantage, and Otte sends his return well out.
MURRAY 6-3 3-5 OTTE. Otte serving now, and he’s playing with real aggression and intent here. He forces an error from Murray to move 40-15 up, but Otte is dragged around court and opens up space for 40-30. Then Murray seems like he’s going to level at deuce when he can smash from half a yard from the net, but he hits the net!
MURRAY 6-3 3-4 OTTE: BREAK! What on earth has happened to Murray? He’s totally lost his groove on Centre Court and Otte breaks yet again to establish a lead in this second set. Now he has the momentum and there is a spring in his step.
MURRAY 6-3 3-3 OTTE: Murray looked to be cruising in this set – and indeed the match, more widely – with that initial break and lead, but now it’s all square. Otte is battling very impressively and Murray lets himself down again with a sloppy drop shot that drifts wide.
MURRAY 6-3 3-2 OTTE: BREAK! It’s an immediate break back for the German, who ruthlessly capitalises on a really sloppy game from Murray. The Brit is livid with himself as he shouts up at the clouds following an unforced error and we’re back on terms.
MURRAY 6-3 3-1 OTTE: BREAK! Otte can’t seem to find any consistency at all and he plants a crucial tame forehand into the net to gift Murray a break of serve. That could be all the Brit needs to win this second set but he must now consolidate.
MURRAY 6-3 2-1 OTTE. Murray pushes his opponent back, then drags him forward with a drop-shot, following up with a looping chip over Otte. 40-15, then 40-30, until Murray forces an error from his second serve.
MURRAY 6-3 1-1 OTTE. Otte needs to hold his serve if he’s going to give himself the chance to recover his focus. He’s 40-15 up, but a double fault has him now at 40-30. It’s another fault now, a sign perhaps he’s losing his focus here, and he sends a forehand into the net, but holds in the end to level.
MURRAY 6-3 1-0 OTTE. Murray is now 40-30 up, looking to hit the ground running in the second set. The less he’s on court, the better for his fitness, you’d imagine. Otte forces him to properly focus on the last point, but his return is too long and out. That’s an encouraging start for Murray.
MURRAY 6-3 OTTE. Otte challenges Murray’s first point, a successful return, and there goes his last challenge. Otte then moves back level on his serve, and hits a pretty fierce second serve for the next point, too close to Murray for him to get his arm around. Murray then comes back, 30-30. A double fault from Otte moves the game to deuce. Murray moves into an advantage position, and he may not need to serve again in the set. A fault from Otte allows Murray to challenge the second. He attacks the net on a mishit from his opponent, and slams the return away to take the set.
MURRAY 5-3 OTTE. It’s back with Murray’s service game now, but in the second point Otte races up to the net to dink the ball away from the Scot. It’s all square at 15-15. Otte then absolutely leathers back an 83mph serve from Murray, forcing an error. He recovers to 30-30, and Otte mistakenly pings away a second serve to give Murray the chance to seal the game, following up with a routine smash.
MURRAY 4-3 OTTE. An easy service game, held to love, for Otte. The German seems a tad frustrated about something and if he’s not careful he could lose his way.
MURRAY 3-2 OTTE: Otte immediately struggles with Murray winning the first three points of the game to established break points but he manages to claw back each of them to take it to deuce. However, Murray does grab the break of serve after an extended deuce!
MURRAY 2-2 OTTE: Murray races to a 40-0 lead but is then immediately pegged back by two wonderful shots from Otte, including a sublime backhand winner down the line. But the Brit still manages to hold with a big serve down the T.
MURRAY 1-2 OTTE: The German’s serve is very impressive and he dictates the game once again on his delivery. He is showing absolutely no nerves in kicking off this match with two very solid holds.
MURRAY 1-1 OTTE: The Brit gets on the board immediately with a solid hold, and the atmosphere is buzzing on Centre Court as this match gets going.
MURRAY 0-1 OTTE – Well, that’s a wonderful way to begin for Otte, who rattles through his opening service hold with consummate ease to love. The German has to be dominant on serve to keep Murray subdued.
Why? Well, Murray is through to the second round. If he loses today then you imagine that it’s yet another disappointment to come back to. If he wins, then hang on, that’s into the third round, that’s proper. That’s something to build upon. It is hard to know just how far Murray can go in the rest of his career, with such a specific and unusual injury to be dealing with. But there are plenty of thirty-something sportsmen and women who lose sizeable chunks of their career only to come back ultimately refreshed. That’s not quite how it worked for Santi Cazorla, perhaps the closest I can think of in terms of the time out, the anguish suffered and so on. But when he came back, and was himself again, however briefly, it felt worth it. I’m sure to him, but also those who had become emotionally invested in him. And like Cazorla, Murray appears to be a thoroughly decent bloke.
Welcome back to Wimbledon
Day two at the All England Club sees the second round begin – albeit with a number of first round games still to play thanks to the weather!
Novak Djokovic, Aryna Sabalenka and Andy Murray are all in action at SW19.
Analysis from day two
The Championships at the All England Club had to be cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic without a ball being hit.
In 2019, Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer in what was a match for the ages to lift his fifth Wimbledon title, while Simona Halep overcame Serena Williams to win the women’s title two years ago.
Who is going to triumph this year?
Djokovic is the overwhelming favourite to make it three Grand Slams on the bounce after his triumphs at the Australian Open and French Open.
The women’s draw is more wide open and Serena Williams and Ash Barty are the joint-favourites, according to the bookies.
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