World No1 Sir Andy Murray insists the nation’s tennis fans have never had it so good after he became the fourth British player to reach Wimbledon’s third round with victory over Germany’s Dustin Brown.
Murray’s straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, success on Centre Court followed the lead of Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Aljaz Bedene as the quartet ensured four Britons reached round three for the first time since 1997.
World No50 Kyle Edmund could make it five if he overcomes French 15th seed Gael Monfils on Thursday, which would mirror the achievement of two decades ago when Tim Henman, Mark Petchey, Greg Rusedski, Andrew Richardson and Karen Cross all progressed.
Despite his pre-tournament injury worries and a turbulent season in general, defending champion Murray sees no reason why he cannot retain his SW19 crown, or indeed be part of a triumphant British singles double alongside Konta.
“It’s not impossible for that to happen, it would be amazing if that was the case,” said Murray, who will now play Italy’s 28th seed Fabio Fognini tomorrow. “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 [against Croatia’s Donna Vekic] 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 exciting for any tennis fan in the country to have players going deep in both the women’s and men’s draw at slams.”
Slovenia-born world No58 Bedene, meanwhile, navigated the second round at Wimbledon for the first time in his career by dispatching Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. He goes on to play Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.
“Hopefully now people won’t be calling me a clay-court specialist,” said the 27-year-old. “The third round is good and I’m happy with the result but I always want to go a step further.”
Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal breezed into the third round after a convincing straight sets mauling of America’s Donald Young on Centre Court. Nadal, who earlier this year sealed a 10th French Open title, won 6-4, 6-2, 7-5.