Murray Into Last 32 as Fellow Brits Fall
Great Britain’s biggest hope of Wimbledon glory, Andy Murray has progressed into the 3rd round of the Wimbledon men’s singles. The Scot defeated big-serving 6-foot 10 Croatian Ivo Karlovic in 4 sets: 7-5, 6-7 (7-5), 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) and will now face Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in Round 3.
Following his first-round success over former World number 5 Nikolay Davydenko, Murray finally came through this potentially tricky second assignment. After taking the opening set, Murray responded well after the Croatian took the second in a tie-break. His superior movement and shot variety took its toll upon Karlovic.
There was danger for Murray at 5-6 and 15-40 down on serve in the fourths set but the Scot was able to get himself out of trouble and sealed the match in the fourth-set tie break to secure his place in the last 32 and keep his pursuit of a career-first Grand Slam title alive.
It was a mixed day for British interest however with second-round defeats in the ladies’ singles for Anne Keothavong, who went down to French Open finalist Sara Errani (6-1, 6-1) and Elena Baltacha, who suffered a straight set defeat to reigning champion Petra Kvitova. (6-0, 6-4).
However, there was an eye-catching perfromance by James Ward on Court Number 1 against American number-10 seed Mardy Fish. Ward took the American, who is ranked 161 places above him in the rankings to a 5th set. The performance by the 25-year old Brit delighted the home crowd, who anticipated that they could be witnessing one of the major shocks of the championships. However, Ward netted a forehand in the eighth game of the fifth set to give the American a chance to serve for the match, of which he took full advatage. The match, which was faintly reminiscent of British player Barry Cowan’s taking tennis legend Pete Sampras to 5 sets in the 2001 championships was the highlight of Ward’s career so far and he will no doubt hope the taste of a fervent Wimbledon atmosphere can provide a springboard for his career.
The defeat however, means that Andy Murray once again is Britain’s last remaining hope of a home men’s singles champion for the first time since Fred Perry’s 1936 triumph.
Featured image: bbc.co.uk