Fans out in force to back Murray
Andy Murray will take to Wimbledon’s Number One court for his second round clash with unprecedented support from British fans.
The Scot will take on Lu Yen-hsun in his latest bid for success at SW19.
Eager to see Murray beat last year’s result to take the title, fans have been lining up earlier than ever before to pick up tickets for the All England Club’s show courts.
Thousands of supporters have descended on the club in the first few days of the tournament, with hordes facing disappointment after queues for tickets to Centre Court and Court 1 were closed some 24 hours before play was due to start on those lawns.
Each day the All England Club has allocated 500 tickets to people who queue for a seat on Centre Court, Court 1 and Court 2.
But on Tuesday organisers said more people had lined up outside the ground by 1.15pm than there were tickets to be allocated for the two major show courts.
High demand could also be due to other key players appearing on the show courts.
Centre Court spectators, who might have expected to see Murray, will instead have to be satisfied with Victoria Azarenka, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and defending men’s champion Roger Federer.
Second seed Azarenka opens proceedings against Italy’s Flavia Pennetta while Tsonga takes on big-hitting Ernests Gulbis, who upset Tomas Berdych in the first round last year. Federer is last on court against Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky.
The other matches on Court One feature Fernando Verdasco taking on Julien Benneteau and Petra Kvitova versus Yaroslava Shvedova.
Murray, who has admitted feeling apprehensive ahead of tournaments, took to Twitter to thank fans for their encouragement after his first match, writing: “Always a lot of nerves before the first match… Was nice to be back on centre court thanks for the support again!”
In a further posting, he added: “Post match chores.. Shower..10min bike..sushi..45 min physic..1hr press..10 min ice bath..5min warm bath..now mock the week in bed!”
Writing on his blog, Murray spoke of the pressure on top players: “It’s so tough to keep getting to the latter stages and winning these events all the time, because the level of play is getting better, guys are continuing to improve, and there’s a lot of pressure as well.
“Sometimes that can get to you, and the more times you have to deal with it, the harder it can become.”
Double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah will be among the tennis fans at the All England Club.
He tweeted: “Hope to see @andy_murray play!!”
Laura Robson has buoyed British hopes, cruising through her first match to beat Maria Kirilenko in straight sets.
Her win, which came after Heather Watson became the seventh Briton to exit the tournament in the first round, prompted Britain’s Silver Jubilee Wimbledon queen Virginia Wade to tip Robson to “do something incredible” at this year’s championships.
Wade, the last British woman to lift the Venus Rosewater dish way back in 1977, told the BBC: “I don’t want to put pressure on her, but I think she could really cause some damage in this tournament.”
Prime Minister David Cameron even went out of his way to congratulate Robson, tweeting: “Great to hear @LauraRobson5 beat the number 10 seed Maria Kirilenko at #Wimbledon.”
But Robson stayed grounded, saying: “Virginia always gets quite excited, doesn’t she?” Of her win, she said: “I thought I could win today but I didn’t expect to win.
“I’d love to win a couple more matches, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
“I think the next one is going to be really tough, so I’m just focusing on that.”
Robson’s mother missed her opening Wimbledon clash because she was unable to get a dog-sitter, but the teenage star was supported by her older brother Nicholas, 21, who has been working at the Championships during his holidays as a court attendant, tasked with dragging the covers over the All England Club lawns between play.
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