Wimbledon | Broady and Murray make it great day for Britain

The Fourth Day of the 2023 Championships will certainly be remembered by those who were fortunate to be there for they were present to watch some heroics from British players who stunned their opponents on a day luckily clear of any disruptions from the weather or demonstrators.

It’s a terrifying, exhilarating experience going out on Centre Court. It’s been my dream since I was five years old Liam Broady

Liam Broady led the run with a stunning performance to upset the fourth seeded Casper Ruud in five sets and, in the ‘Match of the Day’, Andy Murray battled with Stefanos Tsitsipas to take a two set to one lead before being forced by the 11-oclock curfew to stop and resume on Friday.

Murray always said he could still live with the top players, even with his metal hip and he certainly proved it as he came back from a set down to force the fifth seeded Greek into a toe-to-toe gladiatorial clash under the roof of Centre Curt, closed in the expectancy of fading light to try and ensure a result.

The organisers were right on the light but not the results for at 10.30pm they had to call the players in to come back and fight it out to its conclusion, the following day,

Andy Murray takes a bad fall late in the third set

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

And it couldn’t have come at a more convenient time, for Murray had suffered a dramatic fall only a few minutes before he closed out the third set, dropping to the ground clutching his groin and rolling in pain. Had his hip given? The umpire rushed to his aid and to everyone’s relief, he got up and played the next point to seal the set and establish 6-7(3) 7-6(2) 6-4 lead.

Both players will now return refreshed for a final shootout but the question as to how serious that injury is, remains. Fans though will hope all is well and he can finish it off in one set but the way Tsitsipas started the match with his pulverising forehand and accurate serving, could well mean it going to five sets.

Earlier in the day on Centre, Broady had kept fans on their toes with his battling performance which eliminated the Norwegian world No.4, Casper Ruud, from the lists, finishing off his dispirited opponent with a fifth set bagel!

It was the biggest win of his career and the 29-year-old lefty from Stockport, couldn’t contain his delight, beaming broadly at the packed CC crowd after completing his 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-0 victory in three hours and 27-minutes.

Liam Broady (L) and Casper Ruud exchange a few words following their match

(Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images)

“I would have liked to have played him back home at Stockport but Centre Court will do,” a beaming Broady said during his on court interview. “Last night I thought about what I would say if I won this match. Now I don’t know what to say. It’s a terrifying, exhilarating experience going out on Centre Court. It’s been my dream since I was five years old.”

Ruud is well known for not liking grass as a playing surface and his latest experience won’t have helped change his mind.

The Norwegian, a three-time Grand Slam finalist, had never lost to a player ranked as low as Broady – 142 – and playing in front of a vocal home crowd showing its support for his opponent, didn’t help his cause.

Despite being by far the more experienced player, Ruud relinquished the first set to the Briton in 46-minutes, before pulling back to level. The third and fourth sets went the same way before Broady raced to a 5-0 lead in the fifth before serving it out.

Unfortunately Jan Choinsky, who to many British tennis fans was an unknown name until given a wild card to the event, wasn’t able to contribute to the victory celebrations.

Of Polish extraction, the son of a Southampton ballerina and Polish father, he was born in Germany and despite playing for the country of his birth, he switched allegiance to Britain in 2019.

And the 27-year-old looks to be a good prospect as he pressed his Polish opponent, Hubert Hurkacz, the 17th seed, hard before capitulating 6-4 6-4 7-6(3).

Meanwhile the Americans also had a mixed day with Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul both winning while Taylor Fritz, the ninth seed and the much-hyped Ben Shelton, suffered surprising losses.

Tiafoe saved sets points in the first before prevailing over Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker, 7-6(11) 6-4 6-2 while Paul had a more difficult task to get past former finalist Milos Raonic, but he did eventually 6-4 7-6(4) 6-7(4) 6-4.

Fritz blew a two sets lead to go down to Sweden’s Mikael Ymer 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-2 and Shelton failed to maintain his momentum after collecting the first set, crashing out to Serbia’s Lalso Djere 3-6 6-3 7-6(5) 6-3.

Russia maintained their challenge with the seventh seeded Andrey Rublev easing past his countryman Aslan Karatsev 6-7(4) 6-3 6-4 7-5 and the third seeded Daniil Medvedev should join him in round three as he leads Frenchman Adrian Mannarino by two sets and 4-all (he had a 4-2 lead) before light stopped play. He should finish it off on Friday.

Three other matches which merit highlighting are victories by Alexander Zverev, Stan Wawrinka and Grigor Dimitrov.

Bulgaria’s Dimitrov eased past Ilya Ivashka 6-3 6-4 to face Tiafoe in round three; three-time grand slam champion Wawrinka put out the 29th seeded Tomas Martin Etcheverry of Argentina 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-2 and Zverev, seeded 19, finally played his opening match to defeat Holland’s Gijs Brouwer 6-4 7-6(4) 7-6(5).

Alexander Zverev finally gets to play his first round match

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“He was a very tough opponent, the rain was a very tough opponent as well,” Zverev commented. “But I’m just happy to be back at Wimbledon after missing it last year with a pretty bad injury. I’m just happy to be on this court again. It’s something that I’ve really missed.

“I was ready to start the tournament next Saturday, to be honest, but luckily, I got to play today, and I think I’m playing tomorrow again, and I think I’m playing after tomorrow…I mean, if I win, of course! In my mind I am. It’s going to be a tough few days for me with a lot of back-to-back matches, especially with Grand Slam best-of-five set matches – it’s never easy physically. But, like I said, I’m just glad to be playing tennis right now.”

In other action 14th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti of Italy saw off Spain’s Jaume Munar 6-4 6-3 6-1 and the 15th-seeded Alex De Minaur of Australia, now better known for being Katie Boulter’s boyfriend, outlasted Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium 6-7(5) 6-3 6-3 7-6(2) in his opening match as did Czech Jiri Lehecka who upset No. 18 seed Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina 6-2 6-2, 6-2.



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