Wimbledon 2021: Denis Shapovalov ends Andy Murray’s run

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This time Andy Murray couldn’t even save the roof of Center Court, because the dream of the two-time champion of a deep Wimbledon run was destroyed in the third round on Friday by Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

Twice that week, 34-year-old Murray had turned back the years with late-night wins under the roof, but Shapovalov went a step too far when the 22-year-old left-handed hit an emphatic 6-4 6- 2 6-2.

Murray, after two hip operations for the first time since 2017 in the singles in Wimbledon, had thrilled his fans on Monday and Wednesday with dramatic victories over the seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili and the German qualifier Oscar Otte.

Some had even started to fantasize that the metal-loving Murray would make an unlikely leaning toward a third Wimbledon title.

Reality hit, however, when Shapovalov showed no mercy with a dazzling performance, making his way into the Wimbledon round of 16 for the first time, and Murray refused a twelfth visit to the All England Club in the fourth round.

Murray walked away with a standing ovation and is now focused on the Tokyo Olympics where he will defend his singles title won in London and Rio de Janeiro.

While Murray said there were positives from a memorable week, there was also frustration.

“I want to be better than what I did here. Even if there were some great moments, ”said the former world number one.

After taking a tricky hurdle in the home game of a British sports icon, the tenth seeded Shapovalov will confidently take on the Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.

“It was a dream come true for me to play against a legend like Andy today,” said the Canadian in court. “Big greetings to him – what he does nobody has done and he really is an inspiration to people like me.

“It’s really amazing to be on this pitch and play a game like today. I don’t think I can play any better. ”In the previous match on Center Court, British number one Dan Evans was beaten by American Sebastian Korda.

But the crowd really had come to roar the old warrior Murray, whose 2013 and 2016 finals victories made him a British sports king.

The theory was that even though Murray gave away 12 years to Shapovalov and barely played this year, he was able to draw on the crowd’s energy and move into the second week.

But from the moment Murray slipped in game two and then saw a Shapovalov backhand pull past him to drop the service in the next game, it looked like an uphill battle.

Shapovalov was cheered and gave Murray the pass as he accelerated into a 5-1 lead, only for Murray to recapture three games and have three breakpoints to make it 5-5.

He could have made up for who knows what effect it would have had on Shapovalov’s nerves, but the Canadian held out and saved the third breakpoint with a great drop half-volley.

At his first setpoint, Shapovalov played a Murray-style dropshot and tapped a volley into the open field. Shapovalov dominated the second set with some wild blows. With the loss of light, the roof was closed and the lights switched on so that the game could continue.

It revived memories of Monday when Murray suffered a meltdown against Basilashvili for seven games before re-igniting when the roof closed and again on Wednesday when he was in big trouble against qualifier Otte before moving to one epic victory in five sets roared under the roof.

But Shapovalov was ruthless in resuming the competition as he finished the competition in style.