Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray lost back-to-back Wimbledon second round matches on Centre Court, stifling the momentum after 10 British players reached the second round for the first time since 1984.
Raducanu’s follow-up to her fairytale Wimbledon fourth round run last year ended at the hands of French veteran Caroline Garcia.
Garcia, the former world No. 4 now ranked 55th, took out the No. 10 seed 6-3, 6-3 in the third top-10 upset of the day.
Raducanu, who also won the 2021 U.S. Open after going through qualifying, had tempered expectations for her Wimbledon return. Her grass-court lead-up was stunted by a side strain. She had multiple coaching changes in the last year. She is just 19.
“It’s OK because coming into this I didn’t really have many expectations of myself,” Raducanu said. “Yes, I have had attention. But I’m a Slam champion, so no one’s going to take that away from me. If anything, the pressure is on those who haven’t done that.
“I’ve played seven hours of tennis in a month. To even compete with these girls at this level and win a round I think is a pretty good achievement.”
Later, Murray played admirably, but American John Isner was overpowering in a 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 6-4 victory. Isner fired 36 aces among his 82 winners to 32 unforced errors to beat Murray for the first time in nine meetings.
In his next match, Isner will likely break the ATP record for most career aces (since the stat started being fully recorded in 1991). He has 13,724 aces. Croat Ivo Karlovic holds the record with 13,728.
Murray, the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon champ, had 39 winners and 13 unforced errors but just two break points, which he lost.
In his last eight majors dating to 2018, Murray hasn’t made it past the third round. He nearly retired in 2019, his career saved by successful hip surgery.
“It’s extremely difficult with the problems I’ve had with my body in the last few years to make long-term predictions about how I’m going to be even in a few weeks’ time, never mind in a year’s time,” said the 35-year-old Murray, who couldn’t serve for 10 days earlier this month after picking up an abdominal injury. “If physically I’m in a good place, yeah, I will continue to play. But it’s not easy to keep my body in optimal condition to compete at the highest level.”
Also Wednesday, No. 2 women’s seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia and No. 3 men’s seed Casper Ruud of Norway lost in not-so upsets.
German Jule Niemeier took out Kontaveit 6-4, 6-0. Kontaveit reached the finals of five tournaments between October and February, but has just one match win since the end of April while dealing with fatiguing effects of COVID. She took two weeks off after the French Open.
Frenchman Ugo Humbert eliminated the French Open runner-up Ruud 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4. Ruud has three career match wins on grass and lost in the first round of Wimbledon in his previous two appearances.
Ruud’s exit means that a first-time major semifinalist is guaranteed in the men’s draw. No. 7 seed Hubert Hurkacz, No. 16 Pablo Carreno Busta and No. 18 Grigor Dimitrov were previously ousted from Ruud’s quarter in the first round. No. 9 Cameron Norrie of Great Britain is the lone top-20 seed left in that quarter.
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