Andy Murray’s 2019 Wimbledon hopes now rest entirely on the mixed doubles after he and Pierre Hugues-Herbert were beaten in the men’s.
Murray, back at SW19 for the first time since 2017, had dreamed of adding silverware to the two singles titles he has won, but it will not be in the men’s doubles after sixth seeds Nikola Mektic and Frank Skugor won 6-7 (4) 6-4 6-2 6-3 in the second round.
The Scot will not have too much time to feel glum as he begins his mixed campaign with Serena Williams later on Saturday, with the super couple due to be on Centre Court.
This defeat will hurt Murray, though, especially given the start they made.
A keenly contested first set, which had no breaks of serve, was decided by a tie-break, which Murray helped win with a searing backhand return of Skugor.
The second set looked like following in the same direction until Herbert came to serve at 4-5 as the Croatians upped their game to seal it and level the match up.
Murray is desperate to return to singles, but if he does he will need some serious work on getting his serving back up to scratch, as it was breached twice in the third set.
He did save four set points off his own delivery, but Mektic and Skugor pounced on the fifth to take it 6-2 and when they broke in Herbert’s first service game of the fourth set, the end was not far away.
Mektic served it out to love to send Murray and Hugues-Herbert packing, allowing the Brit to turn his attention to his partnership with Williams.