REMARKABLE! Andy Murray Stuns 24th Seed Basilashvili in his First Singles Match in Four Years at Wimbledon

Published 06/28/2021, 4:58 PM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 28, 2021 Britain’s Andy Murray reacts during his first round match against Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili REUTERS/Paul Childs


Three-time Grand Slam winner and the ever-so-inspiring Andy Murray pulled off a magnificent victory in his first singles match in four years at the Wimbledon Championships 2021. Murray beat 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in four sets, coming through 6-4 6-3 5-7 6-3. The former World No.1 put on a rampant display, and produced some of the best tennis that fans have witnessed from him in recent years.

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On a day already filled with upsets, Andy Murray pulled off another one, with shot-making as sweet as the strawberries and cream at SW-19. With the Centre Court crowd behind him, Andy looked in control for two and a half sets of this slugfest. Basilashvili managed to claw out an incredible comeback in the third set, but eventually bowed out.

Andy Murray races off the blocks

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Barring the end of the third set, one would seldom find any sort of rust in Murray’s dominant game against the Georgian. Sure, it can be argued that the defending Olympic champion lacked the same pace he had; but Murray more than made up for it with his evergreen shot accuracy. Murray took pace off the ball when required and stretched his opponent from corner to corner.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 28, 2021, Britain’s Andy Murray in action during his first round match against Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili via REUTERS/Paul Childs

Serving at around 58% first serves, Murray hit 17 aces over the four sets. He also slammed 37 winners alongside 33 unforced errors. The most evident improvement in Murray’s play was his court movement; he was gliding swiftly across the court and covered over 7000 meters in the First Round match-up.

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Off-color Basilashvili

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 28, 2021 Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili in action during his first round match against Britain’s Andy Murray via REUTERS/Paul Childs

While all due credit goes to Murray, the man on the other side of the net looked nowhere close to his best. Nikoloz’s level certainly did improve as the match progressed, but he looked a shadow of himself on the whole. With only 32 winners as compared to 58 unforced errors, it was always going to be an uphill task for Basilashvili. Winning a mere 38% of return points and losing most of the tantalizing groundstroke rallies didn’t help his cause either.

 

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Next up, Murray will face either Oscar Otte or Arthur Rinderknech on Wednesday. The duo was engaged in a grueling five-set marathon down on Court-8 before play was suspended. Provided the Brit produces the level anywhere near that of today’s, we are in for a mouth-watering match!

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

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