There’s high chance of another drama filled evening this week as Andy Murray takes to the court for his third round match in the final scheduled Centre Court match on Friday evening. He will face a tough opponent in tenth seed Denis Shapovalov, who is in the third round here for the first time. It will be the first meeting between the two, with the Canadians rise up the ranks coinciding with Murray’s injury woes over the past few years.
Shapovalov was less than convincing in his opener, needing five sets to get past the veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber. This win followed a decent tuneup in Queens, where he made the semi finals before losing to Cameron Norrie. He won his first three matches without being broken before the Brit proved too much in the last four.
Murray has not been making it easy on himself so far this week. A routine straight sets win turned into a four set thriller on Monday before he pulled off a comeback win under the lights and a vocal Centre Court crowd in round two. He was made to work by Oscar Otte for his 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-4 6-2 win but still showed glimpses of the tennis that saw him twice become a champion here. “I had to start doing something differently. I started going for my shots more, started dictating the points more because I was being a bit negative, and because of the lack of matches, in the important moments I didn’t make the right decisions a lot of the time. But I think I played the right way the last couple of sets.” he said afterwards, referring to the delay to close the roof.
Andy Murray certainly has the grass court nous to see off Shapovalov and will be boosted by a raucous crowd once more. However, this could well be a match too far for the Scot. His opponent will be coming off a rest and that could prove decisive the longer the match goes. While Murray’s defensive skills remain stellar, it could be too much hard work for him against an opponent who will certainly push him around the court.
Prediction – Denis Shapovalov in four sets