Thursday 1 July 2021
Big fight against Murray
Ooty missed the Wimbledon feel
The big surprise has been in the air for a long time, but almost four hours later it’s over: qualifier Oscar Otti isn’t making a big fuss in Central Court at Wimbledon against two-time champion Andy Murray. But Dominic Kupfer reached the third round.
Even as he walked into the legendary Central Court at Wimbledon, Oscar Otti couldn’t help but smile – and then ensured that the British audience at the Tennis Cathedral had their laughter away for a while. The Cologne qualifier in classic turf sparkled with a quiet performance against crowd-favorite Andy Murray, but narrowly missed a thrilling second-round victory over the two-time champion with a prosthetic hip.
“Of course I want to win too,” Otti affirmed up front – leaving no doubt about that. The 27-year-old, who entered the main draw for Wimbledon for the first time, played bravely and impudently against the world number one, but after 3:50 hours he had to make Murray 3:6, 6:4, 6:4, 4: 6, 2: 6 congratulations.
Otti said afterwards: “I enjoyed every minute, I left everything on the pitch. I can’t complain – of course the result could have been better. It’s okay for me, but I would have preferred to win.” The heat at Center Court was “unreal,” so Murray thanked the audience. “What an atmosphere,” said the 34-year-old. “I needed every single one of you. It was a tough match.”
The feeling was in the air
Competing with notable names on the big stage, Otti recently proved at the French Open, hiring later semi-finalist Alexander Zverev (Hamburg) in the opening round over five sets. He also made an eye-level match for Murray at the latest from the middle of the second set when he struggled his way back from a broken deficit.
Sensation was in the air, and Ooty became more and more self-confident in front of the whipped audience. But Murray also showed his huge fighting heart – the Central Court became a cauldron. Then the roof had to be closed, after a break of about a quarter of an hour, Ooty’s momentum stopped briefly – but that was enough for Murray to force the decisive sentence. A shaky game was developed in which the favorite player showed better nerves.
A few minutes ago, Dominic Kupfer defeated South Korea’s Kwon Sunwoo 6:3, 6:7 (8:10), 7:6 (7:2), 5:7, 6:3 and also reached the third Wimbledon round. First time. Defending champion Novak Djokovic also got into this with an easy three-set victory in the remake of the 2018 Finals against Kevin Anderson (South Africa).
Kerber and Zverev are still playing
Immediately after his hard-fought victory in five sets the night before against Arthur Rinderknech, Otti left no doubt of the great importance of his duel with Murray. He described the two-time Olympic champion as “a great icon in the sport”. Murray earned such respect from his opponents and the love of the British public not only because of his successes.
Ahead of the Australian Open 2019, the Scot had already declared the end of his career due to the constant pain in his hip. Thanks to the artificial hip joint, the two-time Olympic champion was able to continue playing. In the world rankings, Murray was only 118th, thanks to a wildcard returning to Wimbledon for the first time in four years.
Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber also have a chance to reach the third round on Thursday (from 12pm CST/sky). World number six Zverev will meet American Tennys Sandgren, and former Wimbledon winner Kerber will meet Spain’s Sarah Sorribes. A particularly attractive duel awaits Andrea Petkovic, who challenges Roland Garros winner Barbora Krejkova from the Czech Republic.