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Five-set magic made a mark on Wimbledon’s opening rounds
There’s been no shortage of drama when it comes to the best-of-five matches that have taken place in the early rounds at Wimbledon.
Published Jul 01, 2021
From qualifiers pushing seeded players to the brink and beyond to tournament favorites eking out victories by the slightest of margins, there’s been no shortage of drama when it comes to the best-of-five matches that have taken place in the early rounds at Wimbledon so far.
Here’s a look at several of them that have left the fans in attendance wanting even more, while also raising the bar on quality as the tournament progresses.
1. Nick Kyrgios vs. Ugo Humbert
Having not played a tournament since Melbourne near the start of the year, Kyrgios’ form was going to be a question mark for everyone—except for the Aussie himself. In a repeat of their Australian Open battle several months ago, Kyrgios topped Halle champion Ugo Humbert 9-7 in the fifth, in a match that stretched over two days. Kyrgios’ booming serve and ability to mix up his shots are tailor-made for the grass, allowing him to stay in a match no matter how long it takes.
2. Denis Shapovalov vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber
Given his shot-making ability and status as a former junior champion, Shapovalov will always be considered a contender at Wimbledon. Right off the bat, the young Canadian was tested by the veteran Kohlschreiber, a former Halle champion and Wimbledon quarterfinalist. In a topsy-turvy affair, the pair went back-and-forth through the first four sets of their first-round match before Shapovalov prevailed 6-4 in the fifth.
3. Andy Murray vs. Oscar Otte
In a first-round battle of qualifiers, Otte topped Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 13-12 in the fifth set. It was a battle, but could have barely prepared him for a match against the home and sentimental favorite Murray in the second round. Still, the German more than held his own as he took a two-sets-to-one lead on Centre Court. With the crowd behind him, Murray rallied to take the next two sets to go through to the third round, where he’ll face a rested Shapovalov, who made it through by way of a walkover.
Shapovalov’s scheduled second-round opponent, Pablo Andujar, went the distance in his opener, one that took a toll on the Spaniard and left him unable to go on, denying him the opportunity to be part of any more five-set magic.