Andy Murray beaten in the third round for only the second time in his career as world No 12 Denis Shapovalov proves too strong for two-time Wimbledon champion
By Paul Prenderville at Wimbledon
Last Updated: 02/07/21 9:45pm
Andy Murray’s Wimbledon return ended with his earliest exit since his debut in 2005 after a 6-4 6-2 6-2 third-round defeat at the hands of 10th seed Denis Shapovalov.
Murray, the three-time Grand Slam champion and former world No 1, had no answer to Shapovalov who broke twice early on to set the tone and held off Murray’s best moments of the match in the opening set.
With the comfort of a lead, Shapovalov was ruthless in seeing off Murray and having forged a reputation as one of the brightest talents in the game, the 22-year-old former Wimbledon junior champion looked every inch a Grand Slam title contender as he closed out a straight-sets victory.
Murray had only twice failed to reach the quarter-finals at his home Grand Slam, back in 2005 – his only previous third-round defeat – and in 2006, but his 13th Wimbledon ended with his heaviest defeat at the event.
Murray had put an injury-ravaged three years behind him to reach the third round for first time since 2017 after wins over 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili and German qualifier Oscar Otte – each more dramatic than the last.
Having dragged his fans late into the night in his first and second round matches, it the Scot who was put through the mill on Friday as the first two matches on Centre Court meant he didn’t get going until just before 7pm.
While Murray stayed competitive, his Canadian opponent – 12 years younger than the Scot – grew as the contest wore on and his freshness was as evident as his brilliant shot making in a victory that sees him through to the last 16 at the All England Club for the first time.
Eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut is next for Shapovalov while Murray’s defeat – coupled with Dan Evans’ exit a few hours earlier – means Cameron Norrie is the only British player left in the men’s draw going into his match with Roger Federer.
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