While the ultra silent atmosphere at this week’s Battle of the Brits in Roehampton leaves a little to be desired, the quality of tennis does not. When the point is over, and the blasting echo from the tennis ball finally fades, it’s so quiet you can almost hear the players think.
With tour tennis inching nearer on the horizon, Great Britain’s best have been cranking up their intensity and effort. No rankings points are awarded this week, but judging by their competitive fire and serious demeanor, they might as well be.
In today’s marquee match, Andy Murray was just two points from victory against Kyle Edmund, but the third-ranked Brit kept his nerve and ultimately outlasted a fatiguing Murray, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5) [10-5].
“He uses different speeds and areas of the court so well,” Edmund said after the match. “You can’t hit through him, he has great anticipation and keeps the ball in play. He is still able to move very well. You really have to build a point against him.”
Murray's intensity level remained as high as ever. (Getty Images)
There was a bit of a hiccup before the start of Cam Norrie’s match against world No. 394 Ryan Peniston. All the competitors have been kneeling for a pre-match photo in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. And while Norrie kneeled before his matches yesterday, he seemed to shrug off the idea of kneeling for another photo, much to Jay Clarke's disappointment.
????????♂️ https://t.co/WxEgIgEb1e— Jay Alexander Clarke (@Jay27798) June 24, 2020
It was a weird moment, but Norrie is one of the nicer guys on tour and took a knee before his doubles match with Liam Broady. Norrie and Broady would fall to Dan Evans and Lloyd Glasspool, 4-6, 6-3 [11-9].
Cam Norrie was sure to kneel after the minor incident ahead of his first match. (Getty Images)
It's been a rough week on the singles court for Liam Broady. Yesterday, Broady was something of a no-show in his 6-2, 6-2 defeat to Andy Murray. On Wednesday, his performance wasn't much better, suffering a routine 6-4, 6-1 loss to James Ward.
James Ward was rock solid in his straight set dismissal of Liam Broady. (Getty Images)
On Thursday, Murray will test his surgically repaired right hip with his third match in as many days against the in-form James Ward. The winner of that clash will advance to the semifinals, with Edmund having wrapped up the top spot in the Tim Henman Group. Evans and Norrie, who will meet Thursday, currently co-lead the Greg Rusedski Group.