Andy Murray of Britain reacts as he leaves the court with a two-set-to-one lead over Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece on 6 July 2023. Their men's singles second round match was suspended due to an 11 pm curfew at the Wimbledon Championships, Wimbledon, Britain, 06 July 2023. EFE/EPA/TOLGA AKMEN EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Murray leads Tsitsipas overnight at Wimbledon; Rybakina advances to 3rd round

London, July 6 (EFE).- Two-time champion Andy Murray grabbed a 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 lead over fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas in Thursday’s marquee match at Wimbledon, but that second-round contest was halted for the night due to the tournament’s 11 pm curfew.

Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan reacts after winning her women's singles second-round match against Alize Cornet of France at the Wimbledon Championships, Wimbledon, Britain, 06 July 2023. EFE/EPA/TOLGA AKMEN EDITORIAL USE ONLY

In a closely contested first set in which Murray staved off the only break point he faced and Tsitsipas did not face any, the Greek player pulled away by winning the final four points of the tiebreaker.

Casper Ruud of Norway in action during his men's singles second-round match against Liam Broady of Britain at the Wimbledon Championships, Wimbledon, Britain, 06 July 2023. EFE/EPA/TOLGA AKMEN/EDITORIAL USE ONLY

The second set was a mirror image of the first, with the two players dominating their service games before the British superstar managed to win the last three points to even the contest at a set apiece.

The first break of the match finally came in the first game of the third set, when Tsitsipas slipped up and lost his serve at love.

That was the only opening Murray needed, as the 36-year-old former world No. 1 recorded his 17th consecutive service hold to wrap up the third set and move within one set of a spot in the third round of tennis’ grass-court Grand Slam.

While Murray’s tennis life revolves around Wimbledon at this stage of his career, the opposite is true for Norwegian No. 4 seed Casper Ruud, who played no tune-up events before the All England Club and paid the price in a 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 loss to unheralded Briton Liam Broady.

In another surprise on Thursday, ninth-seeded Taylor Fritz, the top-ranked American, was stunned by Sweden’s Mikael Ymer 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

Fritz nearly reached the Wimbledon semifinals last year before bowing out to Spanish great Rafael Nadal in one of the most enthralling matches of the tournament.

But he has struggled at Grand Slam events since then, losing in the first round of the 2022 US Open and failing to advance beyond the third round at this year’s first three major tournaments.

In women’s singles action, defending champion and No. 3 seed Elena Rybakina secured a berth in the third round of Wimbledon with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) victory Thursday over Frenchwoman Alize Cornet.

Rybakina, who is having to deal with much higher expectations this year than she did in coming out of nowhere to capture the 2022 title, started more strongly on Thursday than she did in the first round.

The Kazakh player overwhelmed Cornet with her power in the first set, striking 12 winners to the Frenchwoman’s one and winning 91 percent of her first-serve points and 100 percent of her second-serve points.

But Cornet used all of her experience and savvy to hang close in the second set with her younger and more talented rival, who had to stave off six break points – five of them in a maraton, 30-point 11th game – before finally pulling away in the tiebreaker for a 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) victory.

“I started the match good and I think I had good energy also, but then in the second it became a bit tougher and I felt I’m not pushing as good with the legs as the first one,” Rybakina said afterward.

Next up for the Kazakh player in Saturday’s third round will be British wildcard Katie Boulter, who defeated Bulgaria’s Viktoriya Tomova 6-0, 3-6, 6-3.

Also advancing to the third round of the women’s draw on Thursday was American No. 4 seed Jessica Pegula, who defeated Spain’s Cristina Bucsa 6-1, 6-4. EFE