Wimbledon 2021

Murray: “I can still play at the highest level”

Tough: Andy Murray (pic: SNS Group)

Andy Murray beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4 6-3 5-7 6-3

Andy Murray says he has no intention of quitting despite being forced to battle through a gruelling first round test against 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.

He looked in cruise control when leading by two sets and 5-0 but the former world No. 1 suffered an alarming collapse in losing seven games in a row.

As the light faded in London, the roof was closed and an exhausted Murray managed to finish things off after the short break.

Murray, 34, has been plagued by injury in his quest to return to competitive tennis but relished his wild card opportunity on Centre Court.

The Scot was playing his first singles match at the All-England Club since 2017 but showed he has lost none of his trademark battling qualities to see off the Georgian in four sets.

Murray, who was playing just his sixth tour-level match this year, said: “I keep getting asked ‘Is this going to be my last Wimbledon? Like, last match?’ – I don’t know why I keep getting asked about it.

“No, I’m going to keep playing, I want to play.

“I’m enjoying it, and I can still play at the highest level. I mean he’s ranked 28 in the world, I haven’t played nearly any matches and I beat him so I’ll keep going.

“It’s been extremely tough. Even these last few months, I didn’t have the most serious of injuries but it’s been extremely frustrating not being able to get on the court.

“I’ve had such little momentum over these last few years, just kept trying, kept working hard in the gym, kept doing all the right things to get me back in this position. And I feel very lucky I get to do it again.”

The two-time Wimbledon champion will face a qualifier in the second round, Oscar Otte or Arthur Rinderknech, who were tied at 9-9 in the final set when the match was suspended.

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