Murray not shocked by big name exits at Wimbledon

26 June 2013 / 20:47

Andy Murray is well accustomed to the weight of national expectation - but never before has the burden been so quite heavy, quite so early at Wimbledon.

In the space of just 48 hours, his three principle rivals in the lower half of the All England Club draw have all crashed out of SW19.

Rafael Nadal's first round defeat on Monday was shocking but the defeat of Murray's potential semi-final opponent and seven-time champion Roger Federer was perhaps even more incredible.

Federer, on a run of 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final appearances, was beaten 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6 by lowly ranked Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky while number six seed Jo Wilfried-Tsonga, Murray's likely quarter-final rival, retired from his match injured.

Murray now won't take on a player in the world's top eight until the final at the earliest, where world number one and tournament favourite Novak Djokovic is his seeded opponent.

But, at this year's Wimbledon, it seems wise to expect the unexpected.

"Upsets happen every single day in sport, you can't take any match for granted," said Murray.

"You can't write people through to semi-finals or quarter-finals, you need to be ready for every match, every player is a threat.

"If you look at the consistency of the top players at the Slams in the last few years, it's something tennis has never really seen before, it has been incredible.

"That was never going to last forever. When guys have slight dips in form then the young players will improve and raise their levels. I think there has been good depth in the men's game for a long time and it's just now that results are starting to show it."

But world number two Murray was never troubled by second round opponent Yen-Hsun Lu, as the 73 ranking places between them were exposed in an efficient 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 victory, secured in just over two hours.

Murray will now take on Spain's Tommy Robredo in the third round, after the 32nd seed came through in straight sets 7-6, 6-1, 7-6 against France's Nicolas Mahut.

Robredo's ranking plummeted outside the world's top 500 after injuries but he's dragged himself back up the rankings and insists his confidence is brimming.

The pair have played four times and have a deadlocked 2-2 record, though Murray has won the last two encounters and Robredo's victories were six and seven years ago respectively.

"I'm just concentrating on my next opponent, he's a very experienced guy and it's going to be a tough, tough match," added Murray.

"He had a very good win against a very good grass court player. He is extremely fit, he won three matches at the French Open from two sets down, so he fights all the way to the end and he knows how to win."

Robredo certainly isn't worried about Murray - and perhaps that's not a surprise, considering how the big names have fared in the last three days.

"It will be great to play a British player at Wimbledon, hopefully it will be on centre court," said Robredo. 

"I'm going to enjoy this win first and relax, then I will start thinking about Andy. He's a great opponent and he will be tough to beat. I'm going to go for it, try my best and if I get a chance then I will try to get it.

"I'm feeling the ball perfectly. I'm really confident and enjoying my tennis and that makes it easier to play. 

"I'm in good shape but Andy Murray five years ago is not the same as today and I just hope to enjoy it."

© Sportsbeat 2013