Wimbledon 2012: Andy Murray beats Marcos Baghdatis in thriller

WIMBLEDON

  • Venue: All England Club, London
  • Date: 25 June - 8 July

Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC HD Channel, red button, BBC Radio 5 live, mobiles, tablet and the BBC Sport website

Andy Murray reached the fourth round of Wimbledon with a victory over Marcos Baghdatis that finished at 23:02 BST.

British number one Murray came through 7-5 3-6 7-5 6-1 in three hours and 13 minutes of thrilling tennis to book his place in the second week.

The encounter started at 19:15 and the Centre Court roof was closed at 21:00 after Baghdatis had pulled level.

Experts on Murray's late-night win

With local rules stating no play beyond 23:00, Murray served out in a hurry and will play Marin Cilic on Monday.

Murray, who was twice penalised after the ball fell out of his pocket, admitted: "I was under the impression I was stopping at 11 (23:00 BST) regardless of what the score was - even if it was in the middle of a game. I am obviously glad I managed to get the finish. The atmosphere at the end was excellent."

It was a memorable finish to a bizarre battle, following on from late-night matches involving Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on the previous three evenings.

This one was given added spice by the presence of Miles Maclagan - Murray's former coach - in the Baghdatis corner and Maclagan suggested beforehand that inside knowledge could help his charge.

It certainly seemed to as Baghdatis fought back from a set and a break down to lead 4-2 in the third, only for Murray to rally as the Cypriot tired.

Baghdatis beat Murray en route to the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2006, the same year he reached the Australian Open final.

Match stats

Baghdatis Murray

5

Aces

10

56%

First serves

63%

63%

First serve points won

69%

49%

Second serve points won

43%

3

Double faults

4

44

Winners

31

32

Unforced errors

23

3/8

Break points

6/23

125

Total pts won

146

He has since dropped from the top 10 to world number 42, but his play oozed quality and experience in the opening stages.

He mixed baseline tenacity with aggressive net play to engineer break points in game eight, only for Murray to escape by punishing a poor volley with a forehand pass that kissed the baseline.

Baghdatis would rue that error when he let Murray back from 40-15 and angled an off-forehand drop shot wide to fall 6-5 behind.

The British number one sealed the first set with an ace and made a fine start to the second as a superb cross-court backhand winner helped him strike for 2-1.

However, he immediately relinquished the advantage with a double-fault and the momentum shifted in game five as Baghdatis saved five break points.

Things got worse for Murray when he was broken again in game six and hurt his left ankle slipping at the net as his opponent moved 5-2 in front.

Baghdatis managed to serve out in diminishing light at 21:00 BST and the players were informed the roof would be closing.

Wimbledon 2012: Andy Murray thought match would not finish

When they returned from the locker room 30 minutes later, Murray's left knee was heavily strapped - but the new conditions seemed to suit him and he hit four aces in his first two service games of the third set.

Baghdatis was his equal, though, and the 27-year-old broke to love with a stunning backhand down the line before holding for 4-2.

Murray faced more trouble in game eight - clutching his groin after another slip - yet he got off the turf to draw level with a roar of delight.

Both men were hobbling around but it was Murray who showed the greater tenacity, saving a break point for 6-5 and then wrapping up the set with a backhand pass.

As the clock ticked Murray, who lost a point when a ball dropped out of his pocket for the second time, rushed around in search of victory.

A double-fault gifted him the break in game two and he struck again for 5-1 before serving and revelling in the crowd's acclaim.