There is no doubt that the 2013 and 2016 champion’s best days are behind him but there will be huge support for the returning Andy Murray when he takes to Centre Court on Monday. Very few see him as a contender to do very much here but there have been harsher draws he could have faced so it will be interesting to see how well he can perform until his body has enough. Murray opens against Nikoloz Basilashvili, who is 24th seed in this tournament.
Basilashvili did have a poor 2020 but has bounced back this year with titles in Doha and Munich already. He is also rounding into form at just the right time for Wimbledon, making the semi finals in Halle recently. He is a clean ball striker and has the power to trouble many but as with many who floated around the bottom half of the top 100 for their careers, it was the inconsistency that saw him unable to make the top 20 until 2019.
Murray picked up a win at Queens against Benoit Paire but was dispatched fairly easily in the next round by Matteo Berrettini. Previous Wimbledon campaigns would have seen him under huge pressure to deliver but with each passing year, that is something that has fell away with an appreciative audience just recognising that any Wimbledon could be his last.
“I’m most excited about being in front of a big crowd and the fans and everything. That’s really something that I’ve missed a lot.” Murray said about the return of fans to the tournament. It’s something that could bring him over the line in this one against a tough opponent. With the winner playing a qualifier in round two, the opportunities to advance are there for him here.
Prediction – Andy Murray in four sets