Home favourite Andy Murray, who had been practicing with Roger Federer ahead of the Wimbledon Championships, won a marathon five-setter 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 against German Oscar Otte to reach the third round here.
Murray, 34, was granted a wild card for this year’s Wimbledon as the three-time Grand Slam champion had been suffering setbacks while trying to return to the tour after hip surgeries.
The former world No. 1 spent three-and-a-half hours to see off 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round on Monday and needed to fight 20 minutes longer on Wednesday against Otte, who played at the grass-court Grand Slam for the first time, Xinhua reports.
Murray took the first set 6-3 but Otte came from behind to win the following two sets 6-4, 6-4. The duo see-sawed until the centre court’s roof was closed and the lights were turned on as Murray wrapped the game up 6-4, 6-2.
Murray said the win meant a lot to him as he had been suffering many setbacks while trying to return from injuries.
“It’s tough obviously going out and playing matches of that length when you know you have not had many matches, not had loads of preparation and not played a whole lot of grass court tennis in four years,” said Murray, who played for the first time at Wimbledon since 2017.
Murray will lock horns with Canadian 10th seed Denis Shapovalov as the 22-year-old advanced to the third round at Wimbledon for the first time following a walkover from Spanish veteran Pablo Andujar.
Earlier, men’s singles reigning champion Novak Djokovic cruised into the third round by beating Kevin Anderson from South Africa 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
Women’s singles second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus came from one set down to defeat home player Katie Boulter 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
The 41-year-old Venus Williams was ousted by Tunisian Ons Jabeur 5-7, 0-6 in straight sets in the second round. Her 39-year-old sister Serena Williams had to retire midway after injuring her leg in Tuesday’s first-round match.