Andy Murray left close to tears and calls out ‘poor’ Wimbledon umpire in Tsitsipas defeat

Andy Murray refused to rule himself in for Wimbledon next year. But he did not rule himself out either. Right now, though, he is agonising about how blurred the gap between ‘In’ and ‘Out’ can be.

Resuming his match from overnight against world No 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas a set to the good, he did not quite have enough to prevent a man 12 years his junior from turning the contest around to secure a 7-6, 6-7, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4. But an incorrect call in the ninth game after the resumption could have cost him the chance to break and serve for the match.

Murray knew it was close. He pointed angrily at his box and the line and swiped his racket at the turf after his return at 15-30 had been called out. But it was only when it was revealed to him in the press conference immediately after his exit that Hawkeye showed that the shot was in fact good that he seemed close to tears.

“That’s obviously frustrating because I remember,” he said. “It was like a backhand cross-court return, very short. I probably would have won the point.”

When asked why he didn’t challenge, Murray retorted: “I mean, it was right underneath the umpire’s nose. They shouldn’t be missing that, to be honest. If they’re unsure, they should let the player know.

“It could only have been a couple of meters away. It was such a sharp, sharp angle. I assumed the umpire would have made the right call and the lines person I think called it out.

“You can obviously argue not challenging is a mistake on my part but ultimately the umpire made a poor call that’s right in front of her. Right now I obviously would rather line-calling was done automatically – although I probably prefer having the lines judges on the court: it feels nicer.

“But when mistakes are getting made in important moments, then obviously as a player you don’t want that.” It was all the breathing space Tsitsipas needed and he held serve, won a tight tie-break and broke Murray for the only time early in the fifth set to lay down a path to face Djere Laslo of Serbia today.

Murray is less sure of his future – frustrated by another Wimbledon in which he was able to play well without progressing very far in the tournament. The pain that shot through his groin in the penultimate point of Thursday night proved a false alarm and physically he seemed as good as he has been since his hip problem first began to bite.

However, the added torment this year is that he misses out on ranking points that could make his life easier in the future draws coming up. “Motivation is obviously a big thing,” he said. “Continuing having early losses in tournaments like this don’t necessarily help with that.

“It’s similar, I guess, to last year. I had a long think about things, spoke to my family, decided to keep on going. I don’t plan to stop right now. But this one will take a little while to get over.

“Hopefully I will find the motivation again to keep training, keep pushing, try and keep getting better. It’s not just about winning the odd match against the top players really.

“To have a run at these tournaments, you need multiple, multiple wins in a row. I’ve obviously not done that yet.”


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