“It was a good match from my end. I served well until the last few games. I returned well. I didn’t make many mistakes and hit a lot of good passing shots,” said Murray. “I was really happy with it, obviously.”
Brown is highly capable of big upsets on grass, as evidenced by his second-round win over Rafael Nadal at this very event in 2015. But the German struggled to find his footing on Centre Court, hitting casual errors throughout the match while Murray proved to be rock solid. The defending champion hit 31 winners to just five unforced errors, breaking Brown five times to advance in one hour and 36 minutes.
The Brit has been in fine form at SW19, dropping a mere 14 games in his first two rounds. He has reached at least the third round in all 12 of his appearances here.
Awaiting Murray in the next round is a tricky clash with 28th seed Fabio Fognini, who moved past Jiri Vesely 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-2. Fognini fired 11 aces and didn’t drop serve to prevail in one hour and 47 minutes. The Italian matches his best result at this event from 2010 and 2014, but will aim to make the second week at the All England Club for the first time in his ninth appearance.
“I think he’s always dangerous. He’s a shot maker and very solid off his forehand and backhand side, but can also hit winners from both sides. He has good hands up at the net as well,” said Murray. “I expect it to be very tough. When Fabio is switched on, he’s really tough to beat.”
Murray and Fognini are even in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry at 3-3, but have never played at a Grand Slam or on grass. Fognini won their most recent encounter this May at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Rome.
“If I have to be honest, I think it’s completely different to play here. I played at home [in Italy], so I played a really good match,” Fognini said. “Here it’s completely different. Of course, it’s Wimbledon. It’s home for him. It’s best of five. Something can change. Of course, he’s the defending champion. So it’s going to be really tough, for sure. He’s the favourite.
“But I think I have the game to play against him, hopefully to play my best tennis another time, try to complicate his life on court.”
Belgian qualifier Ruben Bemelmans continued his run of high-profile wins this week, defeating #NextGenATP Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3. The win puts the 29-year-old Bemelmans into the third round at Wimbledon for the first time in his career. The Belgian defeated Tommy Haas in the opening round, while Medvedev caused the upset of the tournament so far by taking out fifth seed Stan Wawrinka.
Bemelmans, currently No. 124 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, opened his season by winning the ATP Challenger Tour event held this January in Koblenz, Germany.
Standing between him and a career-best result is Kevin Anderson, who toppled Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3. The big-serving South African didn’t face a break point in the contest. Anderson looks to reach the second week at this event for the third time in his career, matching his efforts in 2014 and 2015.