MURRAY BREAKS AGAIN! Murray breaks to love as the Scot battles back once again. He must be wishing he doesn’t have to serve at all, because he’s a different player on his opponent’s serve.
Andy Murray* 1-1 Nikoloz Basilashvili
BASILASHVILI BREAKS BACK! It’s going to be one of those nights! The Georgian powers his way back into the set and closes out the game with a sublime shot down the sideline to level the set at one game apiece.
Andy Murray 1-0 Nikoloz Basilashvili*
MURRAY BREAKS STRAIGHT AWAY! If only he’d done this earlier! Murray breaks Basilashvili to love to steal a march on his opponent in the very first game of the fourth set. Now comes a crucial moment. Basilashvili has broken each of Murray’s last FOUR service games. Can Murray hold here and put himself in the driving seat?
The Centre Court roof is currently being closed, after which the players will return and resume the match. Murray will be hoping the rest does him good. He looked totally spent in those final games of the third set. As for Basilashvili, he’ll be absolutely itching to get back out there and take the fight to the tiring Scot.
Set 4 updates will follow.
Nikoloz Basilashvili takes the third set!
Andy Murray* 5-7 Nikoloz Basilashvili
BASILASHVILI BREAKS MURRAY AGAIN! Murray’s serve struggles continued, but he dug out a cracker to save set point and keep things alive in this set. But the Scot’s power bar is starting to dip into the red here. He looks absolutely shattered and, after a tense final rally at the net, Basilashvili prevailed to break Murray again and claim the set.
Andy Murray 5-6 Nikoloz Basilashvili*
That’s six games in a row for Basilashvili, who now knows that if he can break Murray again (he’s done three times already in this set) he’s back in this match. Murray’s starting to look tired, too. This is absolutely huge. Can Murray hold serve?
Andy Murray* 5-5 Nikoloz Basilashvili
BASILASHVILI BREAKS AGAIN! Well, this is incredible. Nikoloz Basilashvili was 5-0 down in this set. It’s now 5-5!
Andy Murray 5-4 Nikoloz Basilashvili*
That was a ballsy game from Basilashvili. A huge forehand error gifted Murray two match points, but the Georgian saved both, then closed out the game with an ace as he put himself in with a shot of survival in the set. Murray will serve for the match, once again. Will the third time be the charm?
Andy Murray* 5-3 Nikoloz Basilashvili
BASILASHVILI BREAKS! “I thought this match was supposed to be over!” exclaims Andrew Castle on commentary as Basilashvili breaks Murray again. It all looked like plain sailing for the Scot, but winning that final game is proving to be a tricky test.
Andy Murray 5-2 Nikoloz Basilashvili*
Don’t call it a comeback, but Basilashvili grabs another game as he holds serve to make the set look a little bit more respectable. Murray will serve for the match once again.
Andy Murray* 5-1 Nikoloz Basilashvili
BASILASHVILI BREAKS! Basilashvili’s desperate attempt to stay in the match sees him earn two break points. Murray saves the first with a serve and volley, but finds the net for the second and the Georgian grabs a foothold in the set. He needs a Murray collapse here, but he’s still in there – just.
Andy Murray 5-0 Nikoloz Basilashvili*
He’s fist-pumping, he’s hitting passing shots, he’s landing drop-shots with ease. Andy Murray is living his best life on Centre Court right now. The third set hasn’t been competitive as he has blown Basilashvili away. Now he’s about to serve for a straight-sets win and a place in the second round.
Andy Murray* 4-0 Nikoloz Basilashvili
“He’s tapped out,” says tennis legend John McEnroe on BBC commentary as Murray surges into a 4-0 lead and moves one step closer to a quite brilliant win. The Georgian is trying to blast his way back into rallies, but has lost the control and touch in his shots, and a drop-shot attempt falls apologetically into the net to put Murray in cruise control.
Andy Murray 3-0 Nikoloz Basilashvili*
MURRAY BREAKS AGAIN! If this match was closely contested at the start, Murray has well and truly broken his opponent mentally now. He’s showing flashes of his old form, and is looking cool, calm and collected as he surges into a big lead. A straight-sets victory is there for the taking.
Andy Murray* 2-0 Nikoloz Basilashvili
He had to work hard for it, but Murray holds his serve to move to 2-0 up in the third set. He’s looking in fine fettle, while Basilashvili is starting to look a little demoralised.
Andy Murray 1-0 Nikoloz Basilashvili*
MURRAY BREAKS! What a start to the third set for Murray! The Scot earns three break points, but only needs one as he breaks Basilashvili to love to score a huge break at the start of the set. Is this a sign of the Georgian’s resolve breaking? Regardless, it’s exactly what the Wimbledon crowd were hoping for.
10.10am:All of the seeded players are drawn. In the first round…
Djokovic will play British 19-year-old Jack Draper, the world No 250. What a tie that is for the teenager.
British world No 5 Liam Brody is then paired with Italy’s Marco Cecchinato.
Frances Tiafoe takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas while Diego Schwartzman faces Benoit Paire.
British No 1 Dan Evans is drawn out against Feliciano Lopez. The Spaniard has won their only previous meeting.
Two-time champion Andy Murray meanwhile takes on Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.
10.05am: We already have our potential men’s quarter-finals…
Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Roberto Bautista Agut Alexander Zverev vs Matteo Berrettini Daniil Medvedev vs Roger Federer
10.03am: Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are NOT in the same half as one another. The earliest they can meet in the Championships this year is in the final.
Could the Swiss get that far? We’d all love to see it, wouldn’t we?
Wimbledon draw LIVE (Image: GETTY)
9.55am: We’re almost ready to get underway with the 2021 Wimbledon Championships draw.
We’re of course without some big names though with Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Milos Raonic, David Goffin, Kyle Edmund and Stan Wawrinka all not playing in the men’s.
In the women’s there’s no Naomi Osaka, Jennifer Brady or 2019 semi-finalist Barbora Strycova.
But there’s still plenty of exciting talent in action – and we’ll find out who they’re playing in their first matches shortly.
9.50am: Simona Halep is OUT of Wimbledon this year. The injured defending champion, struggling with a calf problem, says: “I gave it everything I had in order to be ready to play Wimbledon and after having such special memories from two years ago, I was excited and honoured to step back on these beautiful courts as defending champion.
“Unfortunately, my body didn’t cooperate and I’ll have to save that feeling for next year. I can honestly say that I’m really down and upset about having to take this decision.
“This period has been difficult but to miss the last two majors has made it even more challenging mentally and physically. We will see what the future holds but I’m hoping it will make me a stronger person and athlete.”
9.40am: Zhizhen Zhang yesterday became the first ever Chinese man in the Open Era to make the main draw of Wimbledon.
The world No 178 saw off Francisco Cerundolo to book his spot at the Championships.
Qualifying second seed Mackenzie McDonald also made it through to the main draw.
9.30am: It’s been a long time since Andy Murray last played at Wimbledon, with his quarter-final defeat to Sam Querrey in 2017 the last time he graced the SW19 grass.
But the 2013 and 2016 champion is back at the All England Club this year and now 34 is relishing it.
“I’ve had so many injuries and so many setbacks you just don’t really know what’s round the corner,” the Scot said.
“I want to approach each tournament and each match that I play like it’s my last one so that I can get the most out of it.
“So that’s why I want to prepare here well. I’m going into the bubble on Wednesday evening, so I’m going to get there early to practice at Wimbledon. Hopefully I’ve got some high-quality practices; I’m practising with [Marin] Cilic today and I practise with [Roger] Federer later in the week.
“I’m just trying to play with high-quality grass-court players to prepare me as best as possible. I don’t want it to be my last Wimbledon; certainly I want to keep playing, I don’t want to stop just now, so, yeah, I want to keep going.”
Wimbledon draw LIVE (Image: GETTY)
9.20am: Djokovic is the huge favourite to win at Wimbledon this summer, and doing so will see him join Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slam titles.
The Serbian top seed has won both the Australian Open and French Open already this year and is setting his sights on a Golden Slam, which would require all four Slams as well as winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
“Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam,” said Djokovic.
“But, you know, I was in this position in 2016 as well. It ended up in a third-round loss in Wimbledon.
“This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals here, which is not ideal because you go from really two completely different surfaces, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“So obviously I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days’ time. I don’t have an issue to say that I’m going for the title in Wimbledon. Of course, I am.”
Wimbledon draw LIVE (Image: GETTY)
9.10am: It’s a welcome return for the Wimbledon Championships, which was forced to take a year off in 2020 due to the global coronavirus crisis.
It was confirmed last week that 50 per cent capacity crowds, up to 21,000 fans, will be allowed into the grounds throughout the two-week tournament.
The men’s and women’s finals on Centre Court next month will be allowed to welcome a full capacity of 15,000 spectators each.
“When Wimbledon was cancelled last year, that was a shot in the gut for our sport. A terrible time,” said three-time Wimbledon champion John McEnroe. “So to have it back is incredible.”
The grass-court Grand Slam gets underway on Monday (June 28) and will conclude on Sunday July 11.
What to expect from a new-look Wimbledon
9am: Good morning and welcome to Express Sport’s live coverage of the 2021 Wimbledon draw.
The men’s and ladies’ singles and doubles main draws will both be conducted this morning, getting underway at around 10am UK time.
Novak Djokovic is the defending men’s champion from 2019 after Wimbledon was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Djokovic got the better of Roger Federer in a five-set thriller, the longest ever final in the history of the 144-year-old Grand Slam.
In the ladies’ draw, Simona Halep is the title-holder having beaten Serena Williams in the final two years ago.
Halep missed the recent French Open due to a torn calf muscle having not played since retiring against Angelique Kerber at the Madrid Open on May 10.
Roger Federer admits he was surprised to feel pain in his shoulder in his second match back from his knee injury. Federer exited the Qatar Open on Thursday with a three-set defeat to Nikoloz Basilashvili. World No 42 Basilashvili won 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 and will play Taylor Fritz in the semi-final.
Federer was playing his second competitive match since two knee surgeries which kept him out of action for 14 months.
The Swiss made his return on Wednesday, beating British No 1 Dan Evans in three sets.
He made a fine start against Basilashvili, with a comprehensive first set performance.
But Federer clearly tired as the match progressed and Basilashvili saved one match point before getting over the line.
Speaking afterwards, Federer explained how his shoulder unexpectedly troubled him during the encounter.
“I honestly expected to feel this way,” Federer said.
“The whole shoulder, I feel the muscle pain around that.
“I didn’t expect that, I’d been serving the whole time but I think that comes with the pressure. In matches you just go that extra 5 per cent.
“Overall, the body is actually fine. I’m happy. I felt fine, a little stiff in the morning but that’s totally normal, I think.”
Federer is pleased to have played back-to-back matches but admits he is some way off being at 100 per cent.
“I’m happy that I was able to play back-to-back three set matches against top players,” he continued.
“That’s a big step forward for me. I’m not at 100 per cent yet, I can see it, I can feel it.
“Important to be 100 per cent by the grass. This is a stepping stone. I’m happy with how I felt on court.”
Meanwhile, Basilashvili recorded his first ever win over Federer in his second meeting against the 20-time men’s singles Grand Slam champion.
And the Georgian says it was a dream come true to beat the 39-year-old great.
“Thank you. For sure [it is a special moment],” Basilashvili said.
“It’s unbelievable, he’s one of the greatest of all time in tennis.
“To just play [against] him means so much to me. I’m very happy that he’s come back and is playing again and for sure to win against him is a dream come true for me.
“He was always my idol and I’m sure to many tennis players and fans, he’s an unbelievable player so I’m extremely happy.”