Andy Murray eventually defeated Marcos Baghdatis in 4 sets 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 under the Centre Court roof in a dramatic evening at Wimbledon.
The Brit looked in real danger of falling behind 2-1 in the 3rd set and appeared to be hampered by an injury, before producing a superb resurgence which saw him take the pivotal third set and go on to to finally dispose of his plucky Cypriot opponent in this Wimbledon thriller.
The match began just after 7pm under the open roof with the first set a tight nip and tuck affair mostly going on serve. Murray saved 2 break points in the 8th game of the set to rescue himself and eventually achieved the breakthrough in the 11th game, breaking Baghdatis before serving the set out to go 1-0 ahead.
Murray appeared to push himself further into the ascendancy at the start of the 2nd set, taking an early break in the 3rd game and looked to be getting the better of his opponent in the rallies. However, in the next game, leading 2-1 Murray took the first of a couple of falls in the match, which appeared to cause injury to the Scot. Then at break point down Murray had a bizarre touch of fortune as a ball fell out of his pocket as he shanked a forehand which would have cost him the game, although a double-fault would eventually cost Murray that particular eventful game.
Signs of frustration began to show for the British number-one as he failed to capitalise on three break points in the next game, as Baghdatis held on to make it 3-2, before breaking again to extend his lead. The Cypriot saved a break point to make it 5-2 before the players exchanged service games for Baghdatis to take the set 6-3 and level the match with Murray seeming troubled both physically and mentally.
A crucial half hour break followed as the roof was closed over Centre court to allow play to continue into the night up until 11pm to give the match a chance to finish on schedule, with no tennis due to be played on Sunday. It was anticipated that the break could prove helpful for Murray who looked slightly out of sorts throughout the second set.
However, the Cypriot broke first after the restart to take an early advantage with Murray coming out adorning tape over his knee. Murray took another tumble at 15-40 up on Baghdatis’ serve in the 8th game which seemed to cause momentary distress, but was able to take the next point to break back at 4-4.
The 11th game saw another ball spill out of Murray’s pocket, for the third time in the match costing the Scot a point at 30-15 up on serve. However, it would not prove to e crucial as Murray held on before pivotally breaking Baghdatis in the next to go 2-1 up and cause a big roar of celebration on Centre court.
The jubilation of taking the crucial third set seemed to relax Murray, as he took total control of the 4th set, gaining an early break. Murray made a second break to make it 5-1 just as the clock reached 11:00, with uncertainty over whether Murray wuld be able to serve out the match. The Brit was allowed to play the next game and he duly took the match with a comprehensive love game to seal what was an absoring and highly dramatic match at Wimbledon.
Murray will now face Marin Cillic in the last 16 after the Croatian 16th seed won a 5 anda half hour marathon 17-15 in the fifth set against against American Sam Querrey. With Rafael Nadal’s exit, a huge opportunity lies in store in this half of the draw and Murray will have been pleased to have got today’s match out of the way without having to carry on into Monday. Hopes of a first British men’s success since 1936 are still very much alive… for now at the least.