Late-night drama forces Murray to hurry

Andy Murray left it late but eventually recorded a third-round victory over Marcos Baghdatis

Andy Murray left it late but eventually recorded a third-round victory over Marcos Baghdatis

First published in National Sport © by

Andy Murray was relieved to beat not only Marcos Baghdatis but also the clock in a dramatic third round encounter under the Centre Court roof.

The British number one was not at his best as he wrapped up a 7-5 3-6 7-5 6-1 victory over the Cypriot, in the latest finish known at Wimbledon. 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.

"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," Murray said.

"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."

Murray admitted the pause to close the roof had helped him and thanked the late-night crowd for their support. He said of Baghdatis: "He started playing better at the end of the second. I was making some more mistakes, but I still had a lot of chances as well.

"I had 0-40 at 2-2 and then I got broken. Then I had break-back point and 0-30s and I wasn't getting them. So the stop probably helped me. I think the quality of tennis improved under the roof. Obviously I'm glad that I managed to get the win. And the atmosphere at the end was excellent."

Murray had expected the match to be stopped when he broke for 5-1, even though he was about to serve for the match.

He added: "I don't know who decides when we can stop, but I thought it was an agreement they had with the people that live around here that they wouldn't play past 11pm.

"So I didn't know if they were going to get fined or whatever. They said they'd speak to the health and safety people to find out. But you never know. Even at 5-1, the match still could have gone on. I was just lucky I finished it in a couple minutes."


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