LONDON: Andy Murray reached the Wimbledon fourth round on Saturday with a 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 win over Marcos Baghdatis in a match which finished just past the 11:00pm Centre Court curfew.
The fourth seed will face Croatia’s Marin Cilic, who clinched victory over Sam Querrey in the second longest match in tournament history, on Monday for a place in the quarter-finals.
On another day of high drama at the All England Club, three-time finalist Andy Roddick was knocked out, a defeat which sparked more questions over his future in the sport.
Scotsman Murray, a semi-finalist for the last three years, triumphed at 11.02pm (2202 GMT) under the roof on Centre Court, two minutes beyond the deadline set by the local municipality for health and safety reasons.
It was the latest-ever finish at the All England Club.
Murray had broken to lead 5-1 just as the clock hit 11.00pm and was allowed to serve out the match.
“When I got up at 4-1 I tried not to sit down. I don’t know what the rules are, maybe the first time that’s happened here,” he said.
“Tough conditions. I was really struggling. I struck the ball a bit better under the roof and served better.”
Murray took the first set 7-5 before Baghdatis levelled then tie by taking the second 6-3.
Just after 9:00pm (2000 GMT), play was stopped as the roof was closed, a process which took around half an hour.
On the resumption, Baghdatis broke in the third set for a 3-2 lead before Murray survived a nasty-looking fall to level at 4-4.
At 5-5 in the third set, Murray was docked a second point after his spare ball fell from his pocket onto the court during a rally for the third time.
He shrugged off that setback to take the set and start his race against time to finish the match which he did against a physically wilting Baghdatis.
David Ferrer came back from a set down to clinch a 2-6, 7-6 (10/8), 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Roddick and goes on to face 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro.
But it was Roddick’s farewell gesture to Centre Court which was the talking point.