The fact is, every single competitive tennis match that Andy Murray is playing and winning can be seen as a tiny miracle considering the fact that he thought his career was over back in January 2019 when he had his second hip resurfacing surgery. Last night, he reached the Wimbledon third round after claiming a five-set victory against German qualifier Oscar Otte in Centre Court.
Murray took the early lead by a set and a break, but the German found a way to turn things around to claim the second set. With the momentum shift, Otte also won the third set before Murray was able to get back into the game to force a fifth set which he eventually won to close out the match at 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
The Scot played a gruelling match in front of 7,500 fans allowed inside Centre Court, an exhilarating experience for a player who thought his career was over two and a half years ago. The fans showed their appreciation, as the loud cheers clearly showed the crowd's jubilation.
"I enjoyed the end of the match. The middle part not so much," said Murray, as quoted by the BBC. "What an atmosphere to play in at the end. The whole crowd was amazing but there were a few guys in there getting me fired up. I needed everyone's help."
Murray defeated Georgian 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in the previous round, and this is the farthest he has gone in a major tournament since 2019. He skipped all competitive events that year, before making a comeback at the 2020 French Open after playing in some minor tune-up events. He only managed to make it as far as the first round in Roland Garros, and with Wimbledon cancelled last year, he only played his next major at the US Open and got knocked out in the second round.
In 2021, Murray is making his first Grand Slam appearance at Wimbledon, and he is looking invigorated and mentally and physically strong. However, he will be facing a bigger challenge in the third round, where he is set to play against 10th seed Denis Shapovalov on Friday.
The 22-year-old Canadian will be well rested before the match, after having received a walkover in the previous round. Murray will have to recover quickly if he wants to advance to the next round.
This is Murray's first Wimbledon appearance after having been away for four long years. It has been an absolute fairytale so far, and he will want to extend the dream for as long as possible.