WILL EVANS’ daily preview serves up Wimbledon tips for Brit darling Andy Murray’s third-round showdown with Denis Shapovalov.
20:00 (AEST), Fri 2nd Jul @ All England Club, Wimbledon
History: First meeting
Final Thoughts: Roger Federer may be in the fairytale box-seat at Wimbledon, but British favourite Andy Murray is beginning to craft a nice little late-career run at the All England Club. An upset of a top-10 seed would really get the home crowd firing.
Murray was outstanding in a 6-4 6-3 5-7 6-3 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round. While he bottled a couple of match points in the third set, his ability to put that collapse behind him and finish off the match was highly impressive. As was his tally of 17 aces and eight converted break points from 14.
Down two sets to one in the second round against Oscar Otte, the 34-year-old dug deep to win in five.
Murray won Wimbledon in 2013 and ’16, and reached the semis another five times. He also won the 2012 US Open and was a losing finalist in eight Grand Slams. But this is just his fifth appearance in the past 15 majors, such has his wretched run with injury been.
Denis Shapovalov, the 10th seed, has had his own tribulations getting to the third round. He was taken to five sets in the first round by veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber. Perhaps mercifully after that marathon, Pablo Andujar pulled out of their second-round date with injury.
This is the 22-year-old Canadian’s first time to the third round at Wimbledon. He is striving for a fourth-round berth for just the second time at a Slam; a quarter-final showing at last year’s US Open was Shapovalov’s best to date in a major.
Shapovalov warmed up for Wimbledon by reaching the Queen’s Club Championship semis. Murray dipped out of that tournament in the second round at the hands of top seed Matteo Berrettini.
It’d be easy to suggest Murray will run out of steam after a couple of taxing outings, faced with a top-line talent. But Shapovalov is in relatively uncharted territory and the pressure is on him. The crowd support is worth a few games at least for Murray and he is capable of an upset here – or least taking the tyro into deep waters.
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