Andy Murray recorded a solid and largely straightforward 6-3 7-5 6-2 victory over Australian John Millman on Saturday to reach the second week of Wimbledon where he will find himself in the unusual position of being the highest seed left in the draw.
One of the partisan crowd’s biggest cheers during his third-round win over the 67th-ranked Millman greeted the news that world number one Novak Djokavic crashed out of the tournament after being beaten by Sam Querrey on Court One.
The result will send shockwaves through the tournament and, though the Serb will not say anything publicly, it is a real boost for Murray.
The pair have been on a constant collision course at the head of men’s tennis for some time, with Djokovic prevailing more often than not and most recently in the finals of the Australian and French Opens.
Many had assumed that the two men would meet in the Wimbledon showpiece too but all that has now changed.
Murray lost to Djokovic in both the Australian and French Open finals this year and his composure faltered immediately after the news filtered through during the second set by dropping his serve.
The British 2013 Wimbledon champion got quickly back into his stride, however, and after he broke serve in a lengthy 11th game, he ran away with the match.
“It was a good match…there were a lot of long rallies,” he said as he came off court.
“John moves well and he really makes you earn it. I had to be a little more patient today.”
Murray played down the significance of Djokovic’s loss.
“I need to reach the final for that result to have any bearing whatsoever on my performance,” he said.
“I have very tough guys left in my half of the draw.”