ANDY MURRAY is struggling to cause a big upset as his progress on Center Court was halted by Wimbledon’s strict curfew.
When the clock ticked 10:39 p.m., the Scot’s second-round duel with number 5 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was interrupted by French referee Aurelie Tourte.
The game was halted when Murray led 2-1 in sets (6-7, 7-6, 6-4) after more than three hours of fighting.
Tournament umpire Gerry Armstrong asked both players if they wanted to retire after the third set, and they agreed – even as fans booed the decision.
That means Murray, who had been suffering from cramps, must return on Friday – exactly ten years after that epic first Wimbledon triumph – to try and secure a third-round spot at Serbia’s Laslo Djere on Saturday.
More than 10,000 fans who had spent hundreds of pounds on tickets didn’t get a chance to watch the 36-year-old Scotsman complete this epic SW19 game.
In the fine print of the 2009 planning condition for the £100m is the agreement that tennis action on the pitch will NOT continue into the last hour of the day.
It was introduced by councilors with consideration for local residents, to discourage midnight games and ensure all fans got home on time.
The first two games of the day were overdrawn and it was 7.45pm when Murray and Tsitsipas angrily hit the first balls in their third meeting
The organizers decided to close the roof before negotiations started to avoid the disruption and delay later when the light faded.
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Athens’ Tsitsipas, 24, won the first set in the tiebreak but Murray responded with a 1-1 equalizer in the second set.
Murray – still wearing his white baseball cap despite playing indoors – meets his highest-ranked opponent in eight years at Wimbledon.
Should he succeed, he would celebrate his 200th Grand Slam match win.
It took so long that television had to move Ten O’Clock News to BBC1, which is extremely unusual for a sports event.
Tsitsipas was booed by the fans before the start of the third set for taking too long in the LOO!
It was reminiscent of the last time they met at a major, at the 2021 US Open, when the 24-year-old was accused of dirty game tactics in the toilet after an EIGHT-MINUTE stoppage.
During the 2012 tournament, Murray defeated Cypriot Marcus Baghdatis at 23:02 as he was granted special permission to break his third-round tie after the set deadline.
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