The two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray was unable to overcome John Isner's big serves, the way he always has in the past. He ended his shortest journey in Wimbledon so far by losing second round to the 20th-seeded American in the second round. Murray who belongs to England capped a disappointing afternoon and evening in the grass-court Grand Slam tournament's main stadium for the locals. He lost by 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 6-4.
Asked whether he plans to be back a year from now, the 35-year-old Murray replied: “It depends on how I am physically. If physically I feel good, we'll try to keep playing. But it's extremely difficult, with the problems I've had with my body the last few years, to make predictions.”
Murray needed multiple operations on his hip and now has an artificial joint. He also recently dealt with an abdominal issue that hampered his preparations last week.
Murray took home the Wimbledon trophy in 2016 and 2013. Since 2016, no player from England has won the title. The British tennis player had always managed to make it to the third round at least in his 13 prior appearances. He lost that early twice, in his 2005 debut and in 2021.
Murray can still hit crisp, clean groundstrokes, and he accumulated merely 13 unforced errors to 39 winners against the 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) Isner. And Murray can still return about as well as anyone, often getting serves topping 130 mph (210 kph) back over the net. But he could not quite do that enough: Isner hit 36 aces — moving him four away from Ivo Karlovic's total of 13,728, a record since the ATP began tracking that stat in 1991 — and delivered another 60 unreturned serves across the match's nearly 3 1/2 hours.
Murray, who entered the day 8-0 against Isner, only managed to obtain two break points. Both came after about a dozen minutes of play, right after Isner broke to go up 2-1 in the opening set.
When the second break chance for Murray arrived moments later, Isner got out of the game this way: 128 mph (206 kph) ace, 126 mph (203 kph) ace, 134 mph (216 kph) service winner.
Murray made things interesting by taking the third-set tiebreaker, celebrating by hopping around and shouting and pumping his right fist while the crowd rose and roared.
But Isner quickly broke to go up 3-2 in the fourth and that, essentially, was that.
Prior to Murray vs Isner match, the host country's other leading player, Emma Raducanu, was eliminated by Caroline Garcia of France 6-3, 6-3.
(Inputs from PTI)