Great Britain’s biggest hope of Wimbledon glory, Andy Murray has progressed into the 3rd round of the Wimbledon men’s singles. The Scot defeated big-serving 6-foot 10 Croatian Ivo Karlovic in 4 sets: 7-5, 6-7 (7-5), 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) and will now face Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in Round 3.

Following his first-round success over former World number 5 Nikolay Davydenko, Murray finally came through this potentially tricky second assignment. After taking the opening set, Murray responded well after the Croatian took the second in a tie-break. His superior movement and shot variety took its toll upon Karlovic.

There was danger for Murray at 5-6 and  15-40 down on serve in the fourths set but the Scot was able to get himself out of trouble and sealed the match in the fourth-set tie break to secure his place in the last 32 and keep his pursuit of a career-first Grand Slam title alive.

Andy Murray is once again Great Britain’s last remaining hope of a Wimbledon home champion.

It was a mixed day for British interest however with second-round defeats in the ladies’ singles for Anne Keothavong, who went down to French Open finalist Sara Errani (6-1, 6-1) and Elena Baltacha, who suffered a straight set defeat to reigning champion Petra Kvitova. (6-0, 6-4).

However, there was an eye-catching perfromance by James Ward on Court Number 1 against American number-10 seed Mardy Fish. Ward took the American, who is ranked 161 places above him in the rankings to a 5th set. The performance by the 25-year old Brit delighted the home crowd, who anticipated that they could be witnessing one of the major shocks of the championships. However, Ward netted a forehand in the eighth game of the fifth set to give the American a chance to serve for the match, of which he took full advatage. The match, which was faintly reminiscent of British player Barry Cowan’s taking tennis legend Pete Sampras to 5 sets in the 2001 championships was the highlight of Ward’s career so far and he will no doubt hope the taste of a fervent Wimbledon atmosphere can provide a springboard for his career.

The defeat however, means that Andy Murray once again is Britain’s last remaining hope of a home men’s singles champion for the first time  since Fred Perry’s 1936 triumph.

 

Simon Mulligan

 

Image: eurosport.fr

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