It was just like old times - Andy Murray pulling a late one to progress at Wimbledon.
But this wasn't the spry 20-something, revving up a packed house against Richard Gasquet with most the world ranking behind him.
This was a man who'd been practically retired by his fellow professionals, whose world ranking has sunk to 118 due to years of injury. And yet...
Murray beat the world no.28 Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 to win his first singles match at SW19 since the round of 16 in 2017.
He'll definitely play a qualifier in round 2 - Oscar Otte and Arthur Rinderknech will resume at 9-9 on court no.8 in the morning.
Murray appeared to be sailing towards that second round tie, leading 2-sets to love and ahead 5-0 in the third. But Basilashvili reeled off seven games in a row to force a fourth set.
Heart. Determination. Murray.@andy_murray seals a battling victory on his return to singles action at #Wimbledon, overcoming Basilashvili 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 pic.twitter.com/Z2OjYYyrjy
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 28, 2021
After that there was a break as the Centre Court roof concertina'd shut, and the 34-year old was given time to gather his thoughts.
"I went and had a shower", he said after the match, "I went to the toilet - it was just a number-1 - and I was just really disappointed I'd lost the third.
"And then I had to remember what it was I was doing that got me in the winning position, and cut out some of the drop-shots.
"I think I served slightly better in the fourth set, and managed to turn it back around."
And whatever may come over the next week - or perhaps beyond - the care-worn Scot feels ready.
"It's been extremely tough", Murray said, "Even these last few months, I didn't have the most serious of injuries, but it's been extremely frustrating not being able to get on the court.
"I've had such little momentum over these last few years.... just kept trying, kept working hard in the gym, kept doing all the right things to get me back in this position.
"And I feel very lucky I get to do it again," he told the crowd with the voice cracking with emotion.
He added, "I keep getting asked 'Is this going to be my last Wimbledon? Like, last match?' - I don't know why I keep getting asked about it.
"No, I'm going to keep playing, I want to play.
"I'm enjoying it, and I can still play at the highest level. I mean he's ranked 28 in the world, I haven't played nearly any match[es] and I beat him so I'll keep going."
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