Britain's Andy Murray was hailed as "the best ever" by his second-round opponent at Wimbledon, Oscar Otte, after he battled through in a five-set marathon.
Murray looked poised to bow out of his long-awaited return to SW19 as his 27-year-old opponent won the second and third sets and appeared to be in total command.
However the 34-year-old, who has seemingly endured no end of injury woes over the last few years, delighted the Centre Court crowd as he roared back to win in five sets. Much like in his first-round clash, the closing of the roof mid-match provided a perfect reset for the Brit and he returned from the delay a different player.
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The two-time champion had limped off the same court following a quarter-final defeat to Sam Querrey in 2017 - then as the top seed - and had not been back since with hip surgeries in 2018 and 2019, so this was another moment of jubilation and relief on his return to his favourite stage. After the match, Otte paid tribute to his opponent, and his "icon":
"He [Murray] actually said if I keep on playing like this… keep on working like this, keep on playing like this, then the results will come."
I said thanks, and it was great to play him. I told him he’s my icon. For me, he’s the best ever. I just enjoyed playing against him.
"That’s why I started playing tennis," he added. "So many years ago Andy and Roger [Federer] were already playing. I was just watching them on the TV.
"Now I was able to play against these guys on the big stage. That’s what you’re working for every day at home and at the tournaments, with your team, with your family and everything."

Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates in his Men's Singles Second Round match against Oscar Otte of Germany during Day Three of The Championships - Wimbledon 2021

Image credit: Getty Images

Eurosport expert Mats Wilander said of Murray after the match: "Even when he won Wimbledon and when he won at the Olympics, this is the most he has engaged the crowd.
Incredible - this is the most excited I've ever seen him be on Wimbledon's Centre Court.
"In a way, does that show that perhaps he couldn't believe that he was out there and he was winning in five sets at Wimbledon again? Amazing. It was incredible and so much fun to see him play.
"[After the roof was closed] He came out and he was playing very aggressively, he was going for his shots. It's amazing and the roof closing really helped him. Experience helps.
"That's the wildest I've seen a crowd and a player be since Nick Kyrgios in Australia. To them, this is the Wimbledon final. When Murray steps on the Centre Court, it's like a final."
The 34-year-old will next take on Canada's Denis Shapovalov - the 10th seed - who was afforded the luxury of a few days off after he benefited from a walkover in the second round.

Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates victory after winning his Men's Singles Second Round match against Oscar Otte of Germany during Day Three of The Championships - Wimbledon 2021

Image credit: Getty Images

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Watch daily evening highlights of all the best action from Wimbledon on Eurosport 1, plus the men's and women's finals live on Eurosport 2. All coverage is also available to stream via and the Eurosport app.
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