Murray, still striving to regain the consistently elite form he once possessed, fell to No. 5 Tsitsipas, 7-6 (3), 6-7 (2), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4, in a match so close that Murray outscored his Greek opponent in overall points, 176-169.
“I’m obviously very disappointed right now,” he said in a news conference about 25 minutes after the match had ended. “You never know how many opportunities you’re going to get to play here.”
Murray’s dreary mood was reflected all around the grounds on a difficult day for British players and their fans on Friday. The 12th-seeded Cameron Norrie, Britain’s current No. 1 player, lost to the unseeded American Chris Eubanks, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (3), on Court No. 1, and Liam Broady, the British No. 2, fell to the Canadian Dennis Shapovalov, who won 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, 7-5.
But with Murray, it is different. For two decades, British tennis supporters have watched while he converted the promise of his junior career into glory when, under great pressure in 2013, he became the first British man in 77 years to win Wimbledon, Britain’s home tournament and the premier event on the tour. Three years later, he did it again, to add to the U.S. Open title and the Olympic gold medal he had won in 2012, the latter also on Centre Court.