Andy Murray wins five-set epic to reach Wimbledon third round

Andy Murray produced a battling performance to defeat Oscar Otte in five sets and reach the third round of Wimbledon.

Murray won the opening set 6-3 but Germany’s Otte claimed the next two by a single break to leave the Brit staring down the barrel of a disappointing exit.

But, just as he did in his first-round victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili, the 34-year-old showed steel and experience to overcome the world number 151 on Centre Court.

Murray’s victory means he has progressed the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time since he reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon four years ago.

Next up, the two-time champion faces Denis Shapovalov, who advanced after his second-round opponent, Pablo Andujar, withdrew with a rib injury.

In contrast, Murray has already racked up nine sets from his first two matches and faces a stern test against the Canadian 10th-seed.

As ever, the former world number one – now ranked 118 – made little effort to hide his emotions at the All England Club.

He celebrated emphatically after winning crucial points – much to the crowd’s delight – and made his frustration clear when his shots were found wanting.

A vital moment in the match came early in the fifth set, when Murray broke Otte’s first service game en route to a 3-0 lead in the decider.

He was taken to deuce on numerous occasions on his own serve, but Murray held his nerve and his biggest roar of the night – prior to the match-winning stroke – came when he went 5-2 up and within one game of victory.

From there, Murray – with the crowd as behind him as ever – produced vintage ground strokes to earn two match points against the Otte serve.

Another fantastic shot sealed the victory and raised the Centre Court crowd to its feet for the umpteenth time of the evening.

Speaking after his triumph, Murray said: “I enjoyed the end – the middle part, not so much. The whole crowd was amazing.

“I needed everyone’s help tonight, they did a great job. I played some great shots today, to finish it, but it was a touch match.”

He added: “I think I played the right way in the last couple of sets and in the first set and a half. I’m obviously tired and I fell over a couple of times, but considering everything I did all right.

“I get a rest day tomorrow and hopefully on Friday I play in front of another atmosphere like this.”

While Murray certainly benefited from the home crowd, another advantage may have been the bizarrely-oversized shorts Otte wore for their encounter.

At one point, the German complained to umpire Aurelie Tourte they were too big and pulled at his waistband to show her how large they were as they flailed in the wind.

During the first set, Otte even asked Tourte to order him a new pair as he had no spares.

But, amusingly, when two pairs of shorts from the official Wimbledon shop arrived on court for Otte, he turned them down and stuck with the giant ones.

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