Sir Andy Murray is looking forward to seeing fellow Brits at the top of rankings and has challenged them to make it an even better Wimbledon after four British players reached the third round of the singles for the first time in 20 years.
The world No 1’s 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory over Dustin Brown meant there was success for all four home singles players on Wednesday, with Murray’s win following those of Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Aljaz Bedene.
Kyle Edmund could make that five when he takes on Gael Monfils on Thursday, but Murray feels celebrations should be tempered.
He said: “It’s obviously good to have more players playing in the slams and winning matches. I know Heather and Jo won today. I saw Aljaz won, too. Hopefully, we can keep going.
“I wouldn’t say this is the target. Obviously, we want to try and do better than that. Aim as high as you can.
“Why not try and get five, six players into the quarter-finals of slams? It’s better to set the goal as high as possible and fall a little bit short than go, ‘Yeah, we’re delighted with five or six players in the second or third round of a slam’.
“It’s not to say that getting to the third round isn’t good, but some of the players, like Kyle and Heather and Jo, they’re capable of doing more than that.”
Murray has been used to providing Centre Court drama over the years but this time he followed it after Konta’s epic 7-6 (7/4) 4-6 10-8 victory over Donna Vekic.
Konta is through to the third round at Wimbledon for the first time and, as an established member of the top 10, has been tipped as a potential winner. So could Britain complete a clean sweep of the singles titles?
British No 1 Johanna Konta reached the third round of Wimbledon for the first time after seeing off Donna Vekic in a marathon contest
“I have never thought about that, but obviously it’s not impossible,” Murray said.
“It would be amazing if that was the case. I still say it’s unlikely, but it’s possible. Jo has played extremely well the last 18 months. She’s certainly good enough to win the tournament here. She got through a great match today.
“I believe that I can have a good run here. I can win, for sure. It’s going to be extremely difficult but it’s possible.
“That’s obviously exciting for any tennis fans in the country to have players going deep in both the women’s and the men’s draw at slams.”
Murray put to bed any lingering worries about his right hip with his display against the hugely entertaining but erratic Brown, breezing to victory in just 96 minutes to set up a third-round clash with flashy Italian Fabio Fognini.
“He’s a guy that you don’t want to underestimate” – Mark Petchey says defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray “will want to fire it up” when he takes on Fabio Fognini on Friday
Bedene defeated Damir Dzumhur 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-3 while Watson pulled off an excellent 6-0 6-4 upset of 18th seed Anastasija Sevastova.
Petra Kvitova was the major casualty of the day, the two-time Wimbledon champion losing 6-3 1-6 6-2 to American Madison Brengle.
Rafael Nadal eased to a 6-4 6-2 7-5 victory over Donald Young while there were also victories for Venus Williams, Jelena Ostapenko, Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka – who next meets Watson.