Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Murray hopes rise with Nadal defeat

Andy Murray defeated Ivo Karlovic to make the third round at Wimbledon
Andy Murray defeated Ivo Karlovic to make the third round at Wimbledon

Hopes of Andy Murray becoming Wimbledon champion have increased after two-time champion Rafael Nadal was dumped out of the grand slam by a previously unsung player.

Czech Lukas Rosol's shock victory over Nadal in the second round match means Murray will be spared the possibility of facing the man who has knocked him out of the semi-finals twice previously.

The Scot could have faced old rival Nadal in this year's semis - the same stage the Spaniard has knocked the 25-year-old out in the past two years.

Thursday night's result is one of the biggest Wimbledon shocks in living memory, as Rosol beat the 11-time grand slam winner 6-7 (9/11) 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-4 on centre court.

The result will buoy British fans, who saw their hopeful book a place in the tournament's third round today with a win over Ivo Karlovic to give Britain two players in the third round of Wimbledon for the first time in a decade.

The Scot joined women's hopeful Heather Watson after his victory - Britain has not had more than one player in the third round since 2002.

He was watched by mother Judy Murray, girlfriend Kim Sears, and grandparents Roy and Shirley Erskine, while the Duchess of Cambridge's siblings Pippa and James Middleton watched from the royal box.

After his win, Murray waved his fingers at the sky - the same gesture he made after his first round victory, but again refused to explain what it means.

"I don't want to go into it," he said. "Everyone is going to speculate as to many different things for what it is. It's something for me and the guys I work with. I don't know whether I'll continue doing it or not, but it's important to me just now."

After the match, Nadal said he was "very, very disappointed" but was philosophical about his Wimbledon exit. "But, well, that's sport. You win, you lose. Last four months were great for me."

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