Thursday, July 1st, 2021
Big fight against Murray
Otte missed the Wimbledon sensation
The big surprise is in the air for a long time, but after almost four hours it is over: Qualifier Oscar Otte does not create the sensation on the Center Court of Wimbledon against the two-time champion Andy Murray. In the third round, however, is Dominik Koepfer.
Even while walking on the legendary Center Court at Wimbledon, Oscar Otte couldn’t help but grin – and then he made sure that the British audience in the cathedral of tennis went away from laughing. The Cologne qualifier shone at the lawn classic with a carefree performance against crowd favorite Andy Murray, but he narrowly missed the sensational second-round victory against the two-time champion with the artificial hip joint.
“Of course I want to win too,” Otte had emphasized in advance – and he left no doubt about that. The 27-year-old, who was in the main field of Wimbledon for the first time, played courageously and cheekily against the former number one in the world, but after 3:50 hours he had to make Murray 3: 6, 6: 4, 6: 4, 4: 6, 2: 6 congratulate.
“I enjoyed every minute, I left everything on the pitch,” said Otte afterwards: “I can’t complain – of course the result could have been better. It’s okay for me, but I would have preferred to win.” The heated atmosphere on Center Court was “not real”, so Murray thanked the audience. “What an atmosphere,” said the 34-year-old: “I needed every single one of you. It was a tough match.”
Sensation was in the air
That Otte can compete with prominent names on the big stage, he had recently proven at the French Open, where he employed the later semi-finalist Alexander Zverev (Hamburg) in the opening round over five sets. He also delivered a match at eye level to Murray no later than the middle of the second set when he fought his way back from a break deficit.
The sensation was in the air, and Otte became more and more self-confident in front of the whipped up audience. But Murray also showed his enormous fighter heart – the Center Court became a cauldron. Then the roof had to be closed, after the approximately quarter-hour break, Otte’s momentum was briefly out – but it was enough for Murray to force the decisive sentence. There developed a shaky game in which the favorite showed better nerves.
A few minutes earlier, Dominik Koepfer had beaten South Korean Kwon Sonwoo 6: 3, 6: 7 (8:10), 7: 6 (7: 2), 5: 7, 6: 3 and also reached the third Wimbledon round for the first time. Defending champion Novak Djokovic also moved into this with an easy three-set win in the new edition of the 2018 finals against Kevin Anderson (South Africa).
Kerber and Zverev are still playing
Immediately after his hard-fought five-set win the night before against Arthur Rinderknech, Otte left no doubt about the great importance of the duel with Murray. He described the two-time Olympic champion as a “great icon in this sport”. Murray had earned this respect from his opponents and the love of the British public not only because of his successes.
Before the start of the Australian Open 2019, the Scot had already announced the end of his career because of the constant pain in his hip. Thanks to an artificial hip joint, the two-time Olympic champion was able to continue playing. In the world rankings, Murray is only in 118th place, thanks to a wildcard he was back at Wimbledon for the first time in four years.
Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber also have the chance to reach the third round on Thursday (from 12 p.m. CEST / Sky). The world number six Zverev is up against the American Tennys Sandgren, the former Wimbledon winner Kerber meets the Spaniard Sara Sorribes. A particularly attractive duel awaits Andrea Petkovic, who challenges Roland Garros winner Barbora Krejcikova from the Czech Republic.