Saturday Night's Alright for Murray
Wimbledon extended their curfew for Andy Murray on Saturday night and the British number one took advantage to book his place in the fourth round.
- Related Content
Murray was not at his best as he wrapped up a 7-5 3-6 7-5 6-1 victory over Marcos Baghdatis, in the latest finish known at Wimbledon, to book a clash with Marin Cilic.
Victory was tied up at 11.02pm, exceeding the previous record of 10.58pm set by Novak Djokovic and Olivier Rochus two years ago. The official curfew is 11pm, which is the time the final game began.
- Photo Galleries/
- Wimbledon - Day Six
It was after 7pm when the players walked onto Centre Court following lengthy matches involving Serena Williams and David Ferrer.
Murray has been deemed to be the main beneficiary of Rafael Nadal's shock loss two days ago but his path to the final is hardly looking smooth.
The latest hurdle was posed by Baghdatis, a semi-finalist here six years ago. The Cypriot was a danger and only in the late stages was he dominated by Murray.
Of added intrigue to the contest was the factor that Murray's former coach Miles Maclagan now works with Baghdatis, and the underdog began well.
Murray was playing within himself in tricky breezy conditions, and he often found himself on the back foot in rallies.
The Scot took a tumble in the seventh game and seemed to be feeling his right shoulder, and he had more problems when Baghdatis brought up two break points.
But Murray saved both, one with the coolest of drop shots and the second with a running forehand pass that was initially called out but HawkEye showed to be in.
Murray's chance arrived in the 11th game, and he took his second break point when Baghdatis pushed a forehand wide.
The Scot then served out a cagey set with an ace after exactly one hour.
The pair had shared their six previous meetings but Murray had won three of the last four, including both since Baghdatis began working with Maclagan.
Murray moved ahead in the second set with a break in the third game, taking his third chance when Baghdatis netted a volley.
Murray was trying to lure his opponent into mistakes in long, tactical rallies, and for the most part it was working, but, not helped by another fall, he was broken straight back, serving a double fault on break point.
The Scot looked set to make it three breaks in a row but six times Baghdatis saved break point, the flamboyant Cypriot revelling in the crowd's appreciation of the cat-and-mouse exchanges.
It was Baghdatis with the momentum, and he made it three games in a row with a forehand down the line that was too hot for Murray to handle.
The Scot was slipping and sliding and clearly not happy, and, with the light fading, it was Baghdatis who served out the set 6-3 to level the match.
The players were then called off court at the end of the set, at 9.04pm to allow time for the roof to be closed, with the match to continue under lights.
Play resumed at 9.40pm.
Murray had strapping on his left knee, presumably as a result of one of his numerous falls.
But the Scot came out with a positive attitude and began the third set by serving three aces in the first game.
The indoor conditions had changed the match and Murray was hitting with much greater freedom. He brought up two break points in the fourth game, celebrating with a fist pump to the delight of the noisy crowd, but he could not take either.
Baghdatis, who took a set off Novak Djokovic at the same stage last year, took heart and promptly brought up three break points of his own, and, unlike his opponent, he took one, powering a winner onto the line.
The Cypriot had hit a real purple patch, but Murray dug deep to hold his serve and then, despite yet another fall, broke back when Baghdatis netted a rather tame forehand.
The tension was extremely high, and it ramped up even more when Murray faced another break point after being penalised for a ball popping out of his pocket for the third time in the match.
But his serve saved him, the Scot letting out a great roar and then an even bigger one when he finally nailed a backhand pass down the line to clinch the set 7-5.
Baghdatis folded wretchedly in the fourth set, which began at 10.36pm, and the winning moment came when he lobbed a forehand well over the baseline.
Murray said: "It was tough conditions, I was really struggling. In the first couple of sets I was creating a lot of chances but I wasn't feeling comfortable. I struck the ball a bit better under the roof.
"It had it on the screen that the match can't be played past 11pm. I asked if we had one more game so when I broke I thought we wouldn't be able to play on."
Addressing the exit of Nadal, Murray said: "As a player you're conscious of what's going on in the draw but the draw didn't open up for me.
"If I get to the semis it will help but today was very close. I still have difficult matches to go.
"It's silly for me to think Nadal is out so therefore I am guaranteed a place in the final, but I will keep my head focused on the next match."