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Sir Andy Murray takes on toughest test so far as he dreams of Wimbledon fairytale return

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Andy Murray’s fairytale return to Wimbledon after his hip surgery is over after he crashed out in three straight sets against Canadian opponent Denis Shapovalov. 

The three-time Grand Slam winner took on Canadian Shapovalov to raucous cheers from the crowd, who chanted ‘come on Andy’ as the British great took to the court.

But their support was to no avail, as Shapovalov resisted Murray’s fightback from 4-1 down to win the first set this evening. And the Canadian player took the second set too – before both men paused play while the roof came over Centre Court.

While fans hoped the move would act in Murray’s favour –  as he has not lost a single set with the roof on this tournament – they were quickly disappointed when Shapovalov proved to be a fitting opponent for Murray, who looked devastated as he walked away from the court.

His heartbroken wife Kim held her held her hands to her head, while his mother Judy shut her eyes as she kept her cool following the shock defeat.

Just minutes into their first set, Murray slipped on the rain-soaked court and was sent tumbling to the floor. Moments later, Murray fell again and was forced to change his shoes mid match. 

Slips on the court have been a key feature of this year’s tournament, which critics have dubbed the wettest Wimbledon in a decade.

The falls today were no-doubt tense for Murray’s team, following years of groin and hip injury issues that saw him take a four-year break from Wimbledon before hip surgery. 

Sir Andy Murray faces being overpowered by his whirlwind opponent Denis Shapovalov (pictured) as he takes on his toughest test so far

The three-time Grand Slam winner is taking on Canadian Shapovalov as his concerned wife Kim (pictured) and mother Judy watch on

Judy Murray looks concerned as she watches the match

The three-time Grand Slam winner is taking on Canadian Shapovalov as his concerned wife Kim (left) and mother Judy (right) watch on 

Murray looked downtrodden after Shapovalov took the second set today

Murray grimaced as he walked across the pitch

Murray looked downtrodden after Shapovalov took the second set today

Murray was seen shouting during today's match.  Shapovalov won the first two sets

Murray was seen shouting during today’s match.  Shapovalov won the first two sets

 

Notably absent from the crowd was Kate Middleton, a regular fixture at Wimbledon due to her role as patron of the Lawn Tennis Association.

She cut a polished figure as she arrived earlier today in a £795 Alessandra Rich skirt, £675 Mulberry handbag, white Jimmy Choo heels and a tailored jacket by Canadian brand Smythe. 

Just minutes into the game, Andy Murray completely lost his footing and was sent tumbling to the floor

Just minutes into the game, Andy Murray completely lost his footing and was sent tumbling to the floor 

Moments later, Murray (pictured) fell again and was forced to change his shoes mid match

Moments later, Murray (pictured) fell again and was forced to change his shoes mid match

It appears court conditions may be throwing the British great off, as Shapovalov resisted Murray's fightback from 4-1 down to win the first set this evening

It appears court conditions may be throwing the British great off, as Shapovalov resisted Murray’s fightback from 4-1 down to win the first set this evening

The move may act in UK fans' favour tonight, as Murray (pictured) has not lost a single set with the roof on this tournament

Pictured: Murray

Shapovalov took the second set too, as both men pause play while the roof comes over Centre Court. The move may act in UK fans’ favour tonight, as Murray (pictured) has not lost a single set with the roof on this tournament

His wife Kim (pictured) looked concerned as her husband - who has a history of injuries - fell twice

His wife Kim (pictured) looked concerned as her husband – who has a history of injuries – fell twice 

Notably absent from the crowd (pictured behind Murray) was Kate Middleton, a regular fixture at Wimbledon due to her role as patron of the Lawn Tennis Association

Denis Shapovalov in action during his gentleman’s singles third round match against Murray

Kim Murray is spoken to by a Wimbledon official as she is seated in the stands at Wimbledon

Notably absent from the crowd (pictured behind Murray) was Kate Middleton, a regular fixture at Wimbledon due to her role as patron of the Lawn Tennis Association

Murray lost his footing as he went to hit the ball. His right leg appears to have slipped out from under him, sending him tumbling

Murray shouted as he fell to the ground. US tennis superstar Serena Williams was forced to retire when she fell over on Centre Court and appeared to hurt her ankle earlier this week

Murray lost his footing as he went to hit the ball. His right leg appears to have slipped out from under him, sending him tumbling 

Murray was seen shouting during his third round match against Canada's Denis Shapovalov

Murray signaled at the umpire after he fell. Wet courts have been a permanent feature of this year’s Wimbledon 

Murray's wife Kim was seen cheering during the nail-biting match in Wimbledon today

Murray was seen shouting during his third round match against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov

His mother Judy - who was a few seats from Kim - punched the air with excitement

Murray’s wife Kim was seen cheering during the nail-biting match in Wimbledon today

Murray looked downcast during the match

His mother Judy – who was a few seats from Kim – punched the air with excitement 

Shapovalov resisted Murray's fightback from 4-1 down to win the first set this evening

Pictured: Murray today

Murray looked downcast during the match. Shapovalov resisted Murray’s fightback from 4-1 down to win the first set this evening

But it appears she left before Murray – whose match was pushed back due to previous fixtures running on – took to the court.

Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori, John Isner and Bianca Andreescu have all slipped on the court this year.

US tennis superstar Serena Williams was forced to retire when she fell over on Centre Court and appeared to hurt her ankle earlier this week.

Murray shouted as he fell to the ground. US tennis superstar Serena Williams was forced to retire when she fell over on Centre Court and appeared to hurt her ankle earlier this week

Following his second fall, Murray changed shoes to give himself a better grip

The falls were no-doubt tense for Murray's (pictured) team, following years of groin and hip injury issues that saw him take a four-year break from Wimbledon before hip surgery

The falls were no-doubt tense for Murray’s (pictured) team, following years of groin and hip injury issues that saw him take a four-year break from Wimbledon before hip surgery

The three-time Grand Slam winner is taking on Denis Shapovalov as his delighted supporters - including his wife Kim (pictured) and mother Judy - watch on from the crowd

Andy Murray's wife Kim at Wimbledon

The three-time Grand Slam winner is taking on Denis Shapovalov as his delighted supporters – including his wife Kim (pictured) and mother Judy – watch on from the crowd

Following his second fall, Murray changed shoes to give himself a better grip

Kim Murray is spoken to by a Wimbledon official as she is seated in the stands at Wimbledon

Andy Murray's mother Judy also attended today's match. She watched on from the stands

Andy Murray’s mother Judy also attended today’s match. She watched on from the stands

Shouts of 'come on Andy' rang out Murray took to the court, two days after his nail-biting second round match win against German opponent Oscar Otte

Shouts of ‘come on Andy’ rang out Murray took to the court, two days after his nail-biting second round match win against German opponent Oscar Otte

Murray’s wife Kim watched from the crowd as her tennis star husband took on Shapovalov today.

She donned a green shirt-style dress and dark shades as she cheered from the stands.

The wet court did not hold Murray back on Wednesday, when he came back from two sets down to triumph against German opponent Oscar Otte and win his second round match.

Following his second slip, Murray called out to chair umpire Aurelie Torte, telling the official the court was ‘so dangerous’.

In 2013, several players slipped on one day, including Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, who was left injured. The day was dubbed ‘Wacky Wednesday’ by newspapers.  

Mr Federer said he believed the Centre Court roof made the grass more slippy, saying: ‘I do feel it feels a tad more slippery maybe under the roof.

‘I don’t know if it’s just a gut feeling. You do have to move very, very carefully out there. If you push too hard in the wrong moments, you do go down. 

Analysing why this may be the case, Joseph Page of Joe’s Lawn Care told MailOnline: ‘Moisture is more likely to build up in an enclosed space, particularly with fans and players in there. 

‘It’s a bit like being inside a greenhouse. However, there will be ventilation and air con in there so I couldn’t comment on the technicalities of this particular situation. 

‘The groundsmen will be assessing everything by the hour and looking after things so well.

‘You need a higher level of moisture in the turf to keep it green in the first place, so it’s always a play off between keeping the surface moist but also dry enough so the ball can bounce.’   

Federer added: ‘I do feel it feels a tad more slippery maybe under the roof. I don’t know if it’s just a gut feeling. If you push too hard in the wrong moments, you do go down.’

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