This week marked the start of the legendary Wimbledon fortnight, and Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu were set to make British history once again.
Murray and Raducanu both made it through the first round, with Murray defeating Australia’s Jack Duckworth and Raducanu defeating Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck. However, it all came crashing down on day 3 of the tournament (29th June) when both British icons were knocked out of the championships.
Raducanu faced tough opposition, French woman Caroline Garcia. Garcia, ranked 38th in the world, has won seven singles titles and even won at Roland Garros this year. The match got off to a rocky start for Emma Raducanu as she lost the first set 6-3. The young player began the second set well before being defeated again at 6-3.
In her post-match interview, she was asked some harsh questions from the press, yet the 19-year-old managed to maintain her composure and politely congratulate Garcia on her win.
Andy Murray was also knocked out of the competition on Wednesday after a gruelling and exciting match against America’s John Isner. Murray started strong and only narrowly lost the first set 6-2. The second and third sets had the audience on the edge of their seats, with both sets going to a tiebreak. However, Murray struggled to return Isner’s killer serve and consequently, lost him crucial points and the second set. The third set, however, had the crowd on their feet as Murray managed to use his excellent down-the-line serve to take the win 7-6.
It all came down to the fourth set, which was paused while the roof was put over centre court and the floodlights were lit. The set was nail-biting, with the entire nation cheering on Andy Murray, however, Isner’s game was too strong and he eventually took the final set 6-1, knocking the Brit out of the championships in a frustrating conclusion.
According to The Telegraph, Andy Murray did not confirm his return to Wimbledon for 2023, stating that the loss “definitely, definitely hurts” and “if physically I’m in a good place, yeah, I will continue to play. But it’s not easy to keep my body in optimal condition to compete at the highest level”.
Murray has long struggled with injury, particularly hip pain which led to him undergoing arthroscopic hip surgery in 2018 and hip resurfacing surgery in 2019 after the pain persisted. More recently, Murray sustained an abdominal injury two weeks ago, which was undoubtedly going to cause him issues going up against Isner, who had a 100% record going into the match.
The loss of two British players so early on in the championships is a shame. However, the level of tennis has been exceptional, and the standard is higher than ever.
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