|Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July|
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Andy Murray dazzled under the Wimbledon lights again as he led Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a Centre Court thriller stopped by a 23:00 BST curfew.
Britain’s Murray is ranked 40th but showed his pedigree on the SW19 grass to lead 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.
The second-round match was stopped at 22:39 because of the restrictions put in place by the local council.
Murray, who has regularly played late in recent years, and Tsitsipas will resume a captivating contest on Friday.
Moments after 36-year-old Murray had wrapped up the third set, tournament referee Gerry Armstrong walked on to the court and discussed stopping play for the night with each player.
Murray, who screamed out as he fell just before serving out for the lead, signalled to his team the match was being cut short, while 24-year-old Tsitsipas quickly packed his bags.
The pair will return to Centre Court after Spanish top seed Carlos Alcaraz plays France’s Alexandre Muller in the first match, which starts at 13:30.
Drama remains on court after bathroom spat
Eyes were instantly drawn to this potential blockbuster when the draw was made last Friday and, after both players negotiated their opening matches on different paths, it was billed as the box-office match of the tournament so far.
Further fuel was added by the memories from their feisty clash at the 2021 US Open, where Murray said he “lost respect” for Tsitsipas after a lengthy bathroom break before a final set which the Greek won.
This time, all the drama remained on the court.
Murray is a two-time champion at the All England Club and has been talking bullishly about his chances of going deep in the draw this fortnight.
Despite missing out on a seeding, which left him vulnerable to a tough early test, the former world number one insisted he had the ability and nous to cause anyone problems.
For many people, Tsitsipas felt ripe to be on the end of an upset.
With grass not his favourite surface and a patchy record on the surface this year, there was an optimism among the home fans that Murray could earn his most notable Grand Slam win since having career-saving hip surgery in 2019.
After cruising past Ryan Peniston on Tuesday, the Scot also had the benefit of a day off, while Tsitsipas only came through a five-set duel with Dominic Thiem at almost 20:00 on Wednesday.
But the 2021 French Open runner-up and 2023 Australian Open finalist looked sharp – physically and mentally – as he showed glimpses of the form which has seen him long tipped to win one of the sport’s four major titles.
There were tense moments in a tight first set where both players dominated on serve, Tsitsipas taking control of the tie-break to move ahead.
The second set followed a similar pattern.
Tsitsipas was edging the rallies as he continued to find range with his forehand, leaving Murray struggling to cope with his ferocious and consistent hitting from that side.
But, like he has done so often over the years, Murray continued to battle and managed to hold his service games with few issues as neither player conceded a break point.
That teed up another tie-break – and this time it was Murray who dominated it after finding his first serve when it mattered.
Murray playing under the floodlights on Centre Court always creates a special atmosphere and the player, by now demanding more noise from the almost-capacity crowd, thrived on the energy.
After not having a serious look at Tsitsipas’s serve in the opening two sets, Murray broke to love right at the start of the third and maintained the momentum to move into the lead.
However, there was a serious scare when he fell on the baseline.
The sound of his scream, along with the knowledge of his injury history, left the whole of Centre Court anxious and there was relief when he clambered to his feet before serving out.
It had long felt the end of the third set was the natural point to suspend the match and once that was agreed, Murray walked off to a thunderous ovation.