The Court Court crowd roared as Andy Murray stepped on the green grass for his first Wimbledon match in four years. He smiled and answered with his thumb up.
They roared a little more when he took the first set of his first-round match on Monday against 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili. And again, when he claims the second. And when he looked on the verge of walking through the third.
Then things got complicated for Murray, who won the All England Club title in 2013 – giving Britain his first male champion there in 77 years – and again in 2016, but has since needed two hip surgeries and deal with other various injuries. After wasting a pair of match points and giving up the third set, Murray – to the delight of the fans and, of course, his own – took out the shocks of the victory over Basilashvili with a score of 6-4, 6-3, 5 -7, 6-3, causing more roars.
These shouts kept coming, interrupting 34-year-old Murray while he was interviewing on the court.
“I’m constantly asked, ‘Will this be my last Wimbledon?’ Last match? I don’t know why they keep asking me about it. Like, no. I will continue to play. I want to play, ”Murray said, pausing as the sound from the stands reached a crescendo.
“I’m enjoying myself and I can still play at the highest level,” Murray said as he continued to speak. “He ranks 28th in the world and I have hardly played any matches. And I beat him. “
Of course. But not without some difficulty for the man, who is ranked No. 1, but is currently No. 118, having recently gone three months without competing anywhere.
Murray played his sixth game of the season, 30 less than Basilashvili, whose focus from the Grand Slam was running to the fourth round of the 2018 US Open.
“It was extremely frustrating that I couldn’t get on the court, and I’ve had so little momentum in the last few years. And I just kept trying, working hard at the gym, doing all the right things to get me back in that position, ”Murray said. “I feel very happy to be able to do it again.”
To 5-0 in the third set, Murray was broken three times in a row and lost seven consecutive games. He was twice on one point of victory, while ahead with 5-3 in this set, before briefly losing his way.
“This has never happened to me before in my career,” Murray said. “But there are things that can happen when you haven’t played a single game.”
He later said he was dealing with fatigue and some doubts creeping into his mind.
After the third set, there was a break so that the retractable roof of the arena could be closed to protect it from rain.
Murray said he took a shower and went to the bathroom.
He also regrouped and regained control.
“A lot of players would capitulate there,” Murray said. I did the opposite.