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Andy Murray issues defiant message as he joins two Brits in Wimbledon second round


LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 28: (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Andy Murray dramatically booked his spot in the second round of Wimbledon and delivered a defiant post-match message: I’m going nowhere.

Murray downed 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in four sets after more than three-and-a-half hours to deliver his first Centre Court singles win since 2017.

Since then, amid a long-running battle with a troublesome hip, he famously retired at the 2019 Australian Open only to undergo career-saving surgery to keep his hopes of playing top level tennis alive.

Although he won a title some eight months after surgery, there have been numerous injury setbacks, while the Covid pandemic and a positive coronavirus test have also caused him to miss precious moments in the latter stages of his career.

But while Murray has warned his career could finish at any moment and frustrated a lack of momentum, he is adamant he will not be calling it a day after proving once more he can compete with players in the upper echelons of the ATP rankings.

‘It has been extremely tough even these last few months,’ said Murray in his on-court interview. ‘I didn’t have the most serious of injuries. But it has been frustrating not to play on court.

Andy Murray booked his spot in round two (Picture: AFP via Getty)

‘I have had such little momentum. I kept trying and working hard in the gym, doing all the right things. I feel lucky I could do it again.

‘I keep being asked if this is my last Wimbledon or last match. No. I want to play. I am enjoying it and I still can play at the highest level.

‘He is ranked 28 in the world and I have hardly played any matches and I beat him. I will keep going.’

Murray has not lost his sense of humour and cheekily detailed his off-court activity after failing to win a third set he led 5-0.

‘I did well to win the fourth set,’ he added. ‘That was not mentally easy going back to the locker room.

‘I had a shower, I went to the toilet – just a number one – and then it was really disappointing that I lost the third.

‘I cut out some of the drop-shots and served better in the fourth set and turned it round.’

Murray was not the only Brit to advance to round two on a rain-hit Monday at the All England Club.

Broady reached round two for the second time (Picture: Getty)

Liam Broady claimed one of the best wins of his career, easing past Italy’s Marco Cecchinato 6-3 6-4 6-0, to reach the second round of Wimbledon for just the second time and first since 2015.

‘Six years is a long time in a tennis career,’ said Broady. ‘Obviously I think it was in 2019 I made last round of quallies, I was two sets to love up, ended losing in five, which was a bit of a heartbreaker.

‘So it felt good to put this one away in straight sets today. I just wanted to try and get it done as quickly as possible in the third, keep him down. He was a little bit upset, which made it easier with his level and stuff.

‘But, yeah, I mean, six years is a long time. I mean, I did play Andy the year he won it first round and Raonic as well. A bit of a better draw this year than those two.’

Broady credited a dinner with Murray for helping him turn his career around.

‘The Battle of the Brits was an incredible experience for all of us,’ said Broady of the exhibition events organised by Murray’s brother Jamie last year.

‘I mean, to be around Andy, to see the way that he was carrying himself. I mean, he absolutely destroyed me in that Battle of the Brits.

‘I had an incredible conversation with him after the match, just me and him eating dinner in the cafe. Then he sent me a couple messages about the match, my game after that, which kind of turned it around for me quite a bit.’

Katie Boulter fought back from a set down (Picture: Getty)

Katie Boulter had also earlier moved into the second round, beating American qualifier Danielle Lao 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4. She goes on to face second seed Aryna Sabalenka.

‘I’m super excited to get out there already,’ said Boulter. ‘I played her before. I know what to expect. I know she’s a power player. It’s going to be really difficult. She’s ranked what she is for a reason.

‘Ultimately all I’m going to do is go out there, enjoy myself, put my game on the line, see what I can do. I’ve got absolutely nothing to lose. I think it’s going to be a really good match.’

Other Brits weren’t so fortunate. Jodie Burrage was beaten 6-2 6-1 by American Lauren Davis, while Katie Swan went out 6-3 6-4 to 23rd seed Madison Keys.

The most painful defeat came for Heather Watson, however. She was on the wrong side of an 8-6 third set defeat in a late-night battle on Court 1, which concluded at 10.17pm, having failed to convert a match point.

Jay Clarke will have to resume his match against Egor Gerasimov, who he led two sets to one, on Tuesday after it was suspended due to bad light, while Dan Evans and Harriet Dart both saw their matches postponed earlier in the day due to rain.

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