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Murray v Kendrick as it happened

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606: DEBATE

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By Tom Fordyce at Wimbledon


John McEnroe
John McEnroe in the BBC commentary box: "This is a B performance by Murray and an A, A+ performance from Robert. This is one Andy will take a deep breath and say thank goodness this is over."

Murray 7-5 6-7 6-3 6-4 Kendrick
Kendo long - 0-15 - but smashing return and volley to make it 15-15, and a lame second serve is marmalised to make it 15-30. Another missed first serve, and a chance for Kendo - blown, as nerves suddenly strike him too. Murray puts away a smash to move to match point, and when Kendo belts his return long, it's all over. Delight all around Centre - the journey is underway, although there were times there when Kendrick seemed likely to puncture it.

Murray 7-5 6-7 6-3 *5-4 Kendrick
What an exchange at the death - drops from both men, lobs to follow and a sensational running-backwards smash-fetch from Murray to bring the crowd to its feet. Murray misses wide to make it 30-30 but then whips a winner cross-court to deuce it up. An overhead makes it match point after two and a half hours - saved with brilliant panache from Kendo. Played well up on his ranking, the Californian challenger. Murray goes long, and Kendo stays alive. Admirable battling.

Murray 7-5 6-7 6-3 5-3* Kendrick
Swing and wide from the Californian, but the next forehand boomer bites the line. Murray slices then topspins down the line before both men almost sprint themselves into oblivion - Kendo kross-kourt winner. Murray slices a sneaky second serve, draws the error and is now just a game away from a place in the second round.

Murray 7-5 6-7 6-3 *4-3 Kendrick
Big, big return from Murray, and Kendo's complaining about the state of the balls now. They've taken some punishment, no doubts. Kendo keeps schtum as pacey serving contradicts his claim.

Murray 7-5 6-7 6-3 4-2* Kendrick
Kendo's almost running on empty now. He looks there for the taking, but a mis-hit Murray dropper gives him a nibble at 30-30. Murray's 20th ace sees off the worries and another biggie seals the deal.

Murray 7-5 6-7 6-3 *3-2 Kendrick
At 0-30 Kendo is in it deep. Murray misses cross-court and is then cut off at the tape to be pegged back to 30-30, but the American gambles on a risky forehand from the back to ship a break point. And that is a wonderfully worked point by Murray - successive slices to the backhand, a teasing dropper to open up the court and a slashing backhand drive into the verdant space. He's got the break...

Murray 7-5 6-7 6-3 2-2* Kendrick
In the crowd, a woman who looks like a young Nerys Hughes almost spills out of her cerise sundress as Murray clatters through his serve. Solid hold, from one of them at least.

Murray 7-5 6-7 6-3 *1-2 Kendrick
Centre Court is cooled by a blanket of shadow as the gunslingers pace out to the baseline. Uh-oh - foot-fault called against Kendo, and that double-fault leaves him at 15-30. A blazing forehand finds the net - two break points. That's a lovely overhead to save one, and Murray wastes the other with a backhand return blocked wide. When Kendo kranks up his serve on the next two, he's wriggled off the hook.

Murray 7-5 6-7 6-3 1-1* Kendrick
Long from Kendo with over-ambitious forehands. Murray moves him around the court mercilessly - level pegs.

Murray 7-5 6-7 6-3 *0-1 Kendrick
Kendo's touch at the net remains far better than you'd expect from a man ranked 76. Two super stop-shots leave Murray helpless.

Text in your views on 81111
From Alex in Northampton via text on 81111: "I have watched Andy for pretty much all of his career. And certainly all of this season. And I can say with lots of confidence, this is his worst performance since the Olympics last year."

THIRD SET

Murray 7-5 6-7 6-3 Kendrick
Great approach from Kendo, coming in behind a deep slice, and when Murray goes long he's suddenly wobbling at 0-30. He then gets lucky twice as Kendo misses a backhand and then slams a sitter into the train-tracks - 30-30. My giddy aunts - magnificent diving volley again from Kendo to go to break point, saved whe a backhand bites the dust. Murray pushes a dropper past his opponent - set point - but Kendo piles into his second serve and dashes it cross-court for another deuce. Is that out from Murray? Nope, but it was mighty close - second set point, and this time he takes it as Kendo kollapses on a mid-court put-a-way. Nervy, nervy stuff from Murray, but he's escaped...

Murray 7-5 6-7 *5-3 Kendrick
Kendo stays alive with a muscular hold to love. Murray to serve for the set...

Text in your views on 81111
From Pickles91 on 606: "I can't see Murray not making the final, he's serving too well not too, and playing too well."

Murray 7-5 6-7 5-2* Kendrick
Big cheers again, and both Mama Murray and Kim Sears are on their feet as son/boyfriend canters through his service game.

From James at work in Warrington via text on 81111: "Tom, do you think that this is a good workout for Murray or he would have preferred his opponent to fizz out like a giant Berocca like Lu did yesterday for Federer?"
James - he'll be happy just getting through after that tie-break turnaround...

Murray 7-5 6-7 *4-2 Kendrick
Hello - the first signs of flakiness from Kendo. Two double-faults on that previous rock-solid serve open up a break point, and when the Californian booms a forehand wide, Murray has snatched the advantage. This time the crowd does respond...

Murray 7-5 6-7 3-2* Kendrick
Fine serving from Murray. Slightly strange response from the Centre Court masses so far - they're behind Murray, of course, but they're also enjoying the ding-dong that Kendo's providing.

Murray 7-5 6-7 *2-2 Kendrick
That flat forehand of Kendo's is a thing of destruction. Murray is clambering all over him at 30-30, but that whipper sizzles into the corner and another follows to snuff out the sniff.

Murray 7-5 6-7 2-1* Kendrick
They're piled high on Murray Mount, basking in the last of the day's warmth and waving like wheat in the wind when they see themselves on the giant screen. Kendo has an unsuccessful swipe at the Murray serve.

Murray 7-5 6-7 *1-1 Kendrick
Super scampering from Murray, chasing down one drop-shot on the left and flicking a winner cross-court and doing the same to another on the right - deuce. Ouch - ace thrashed down the middle to make it 13 apiece on that score, and another that Murray can only frame into the slips.

Murray 7-5 6-7 1-0* Kendrick
Succour for the concerned Murray masses as he bounces back out and holds to 15. Just a third of the court still lit with evening sun.

SECOND SET

Murray 7-5 6-7 Kendrick
Brutal serve deep to the backhand side, another down the middle - 2-1 Murray. Kendo serves a spitter of a second effort high into the Murray ribcage and then profits from a net-cord to move 3-2 ahead - and he has a chance to go 4-2, only to mis-hit on Murray's plodder of a second serve - was the low sun in his eyes? Lordy - Murray double-faults to give Kendo the mini-break and then finds the net with his backhand - 3-5. Massive Kendo first serve - 3-6 - and a punishing backhand winner down the line to take the set. We're 1-1...

Murray 7-5 6-6 Kendrick
Kendo krashes that big forehand long, but he finds his range with the next one with Murray stranded in the back of beyond. 30-15. Murray keeps any nerves well housed and flicks away a wristy forehand to take us into the tie-break.

Murray 7-5 *5-6 Kendrick
Serious speed on that forehand from Kendo - Murray wouldn't have reached that with arms the length of Mr Tickle's. First glimpse of some umpire ire as a dicey line-call rattles Murray. He has to hold to save the set.

Murray 7-5 5-5* Kendrick
Murray is unmoved by the histrionics. A dab of the forehead with his Fred Perry sweatband, a glance down the court from the corner of his eye and a service game to love is secured.

Murray 7-5 *4-5 Kendrick
Oh yes! Splendid exchange of volleys at the net, and Kendo stays strongest to pop away a winner on the Beckeresque dive. He's so excited that he almost high-fives a startled ball-boy.

Murray 7-5 4-4* Kendrick
Pink shoulders and décolletages abound all around in the stands - it's been an old-fashioned phew-what-a-scorcher today. Murray's serve has sting and menace; Kendo kreams one return millimetres over the net but booms others long. As you were.

Murray 7-5 *3-4 Kendrick
Glance down into your Pimm's in order to pluck out a slice of cucumber or apple and you would have missed that Kendo service showcase. Murray motionless as the acers fizz past.

Murray 7-5 3-3* Kendrick
Crowd-pleasing hold from Murray as the shadows continue their creep across Centre. Tasty little contest we have here.

Murray 7-5 *2-3 Kendrick
Big serving again from Kendo, wide beyond Murray's backhand. He follows with another big ripper, tears into the net to punch away a straightforward volley and slams it into the tramlines - break point. Murray has a chance on second serve - Kendo is at the net, feet rooted, but a stretching lob lacks legs and is smashed away with menace. A sweet forehand drive gets the Kendo endo back in front.

Murray 7-5 2-2* Kendrick
Murray flings high in his service action, the yellow ball lit up in the bright evening sunshine, and crashes through with his racquet - ace to seal the game, and Kim Sears nods approvingly behind her giant shades in the VIP seats.

Murray 7-5 *1-2 Kendrick
Cracking duel from the back of the court. Kendo runs round to crash a flamboyant sequence of forehands deep into Murray's backhand corner and then whips one the other way to leave the home favourite stranded.

Murray 7-5 1-1* Kendrick
Sunhats of every description around Centre - stiff-brimmed formal numbers, classic cricket floppies, baseball-branded caps and the occasional Panama. Cold-eyed hold from the outwardly emotionless Murray.

Murray 7-5 *0-1 Kendrick
That'll lift the Kendo mood. He strides out, swiping his beaded brow with his Wimbledon branded towel, lobs the sweaty stinker to a supplicant ball-boy and serves straight through without producing additional perspiration.

FIRST SET

Murray 7-5 Kendrick
Barely a slot free in the galleries now as shadows from the western stand stretch across the baseline. Murray comes to the tape to tap away a simple volley - two set points - and that's a splendid way to seal them, disguising a dropper delightfully and stiffening the wrist to punch away the winner cross-court. He's up and running.

Murray *6-5 Kendrick
He can volley, Kendo - lovely touch at the net as he races in behind that thrasher of a serve. Murray passes him with a backhand cross-court but can do nothing about a drop-dead stunner at the tape - 40-30. Oh yes - Murray stands up on tippy-toes and creams another service return across Kendo's nose, and then flays one from the other side which fizzes past the American with his racquet still following through. Murray draws his man into a baseline duel and roars with happy anger as Kendo slashes long and wide - break back!

Murray 5-5* Kendrick
Gasps of astonishment as Kendo grabs the game by the scruff of the neck. He slices deep, and again - Murray can't get underneath it and the ball dies in the divider. At 0-30 Murray challenges a line-call that said his serve was out - big result, because he reloads with righteous ire and gets himself back to level pegs. Kendo gambles on a flashing forehand whipped cross-court - just out - and a beefy first serve competes the save. Anxious times.

Murray *4-5 Kendrick
The momentum's swung here - Kendo thrashes down three serves of fearsome delight and punches away a volley off the fourth. Judy Murray grimaces, and Murray must now hold to stay in the set.

Murray 4-4* Kendrick
Warming up now, this contest. After Murray floats a sweet lob over Kendo's head, the American blasts a beauty of a forehand return past the Scotsman's shoelaces to go to deuce. He moves to advantage with another top-drawer thumper and steals the break back as Murray flops over a double-fault. Stunned silence around Centre.

Murray *4-3 Kendrick
Was that Kendo boomer long? It looks marginal, but there's no moaning from Murray. Kendo's serve is a weapon when it hits home, and at last he comes in behind it to punch away a volley with Edbergesque alacrity.

From knee_high on 606: "Not looking nervy at all - think that's what all Murray fans were hoping for."

Murray 4-2* Kendrick
Murray at last loses a point on his own serve after 13 successive successes, a backhand drifting long. A long drifting backhand slice down the line leaves Kendo scrambling sideways, and the ball dies with a sigh on his stretching strings.

Murray *3-2 Kendrick
Kendo, his white t-shirt ringed with a yellow pattern like a celtic tattoo, cranks up the serve and finds his range once again - crisp boomers down the middle and to the forehand corner, and he holds to love with a nod to his coach Scott McCain. Pimms being drained thirstily in the sun-baked courtside slots.

Murray 3-1* Kendrick
Imperious from Murray so far. Kendo cannot cope with his touch on the groundstrokes, and a double-fisted backhand down the line leaves the Californian staring at its slipstream.

Murray *2-1 Kendrick
Trouble again for Kendo. He's going for winners when they're not always there, making errors as Murray prowls with menace. At deuce Murray takes an aggressive pace forward but is left swinging at thin air as Kendo finds some power and accuracy on the serve.

Murray 2-0* Kendrick
The easiest of peas once again. The serve has pop, the groundstrokes crunch, and Bobby K is left jaw agape at the back end of nowhere.

Murray *1-0 Kendrick
Stinking start for Kendrick. Despite some big serves he stays deep, and Murray takes advantage with happy ease - break in the first game of the match.

* denotes next server

1708: A little more on Kendrick - he reached the top 100 for the first time last year, is currently ranked 76 and has never won a singles title. Murray has won all three of their previous meetings. Although I'm not tempting fate.

1704: You want to know about Kendrick? Of course you do. The 29-year-old Californian - wearing a back-to-front baseball cap, in the manner of Alex Winter in Bill and Ted - has won three matches at slam level. Remember him almost beating Rafa Nadal in the second round three years ago? No?

1700: Here come the players, strolling round the dark green screen and out into the bright sunlight. Whistles and cheers from all four corners. Murray looks a touch bashful; Kendrick excited.

1657: This from Tim Henman court-side: "Andy's really matured in the last year. The overall package is so consistent now - he's won three Masters tournaments now."

1655: Now then. The first Union flags of the fortnight are visible down on Centre Court, and that can mean only one thing: Murray o'clock...




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