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World no.4 and local favorite Andy Murray navigated his way past the unseeded Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis to book a spot in the last 16 at Wimbledon. The unseeded Cypriot, who has been ranked as high as no.8 in the world, played in a manner that belied his current ranking of 42, staying neck-to-neck with Murray for the majority of the match. However, the Briton just had that extra gear, which he called upon in the critical moments of the match, which saw him through his determined opponent in tight four sets. Murray won the battle against time as well finishing the match merely seconds before the obligatory 11 pm halt to prevent the match from being carried forward to the next day. The final score was 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Meanwhile, on No. 2 court, the 16th seeded Croatian, Marin Cilic battled the unseeded American, Sam Querrey in another marathon Wimbledon thriller with the Croatian prevailing 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-7(3), 17-15 in five hours and 31 minutes in what turned out to be the second longest match in the Championship, losing only to the Isner-Mahut 11 hour epic in 2010.
The last match on Centre Court started off on an even keel with both players comfortably holding serve till the 10th game of the set. In the 11th game, Murray started upping the ante which coupled with some subpar play from Baghdatis saw the Briton drawing first blood, also granting him the opportunity to serve for the set, which he did in fine fashion to bag the first set in just under an hour.
With momentum firmly on his side, Murray went on to break the Cypriot at the beginning of the second, However, Baghdatis was not to be denied as he quickly reciprocated the favor. More inspired play from the Cypriot saw him grab one more critical break which allowed to level the match at one set a piece.
The third set was even more closely fought with both players trying desperately to grab that all-important two sets to one lead. It was Murray who delivered the goods at the business end of the set with by grabbing the decisive break when Baghdatis was serving to force a tie breaker. With two sets and the momentum firmly in his pocket, Murray ran away with the 4th set, winning in it in just under half an hour to book a spot in the last 16.
Murray will next face Marin Cilic, who looked to be on course for a routine win when he jumped to a 2 sets to love lead, even having an opportunity in the third to serve for the match. However, Sam Querrey had other plans as some determined play from the American saw him break back. That injected the American with some much-needed vigor as he edged Cilic in the third and fourth sets in tie-breakers to force a deciding fifth.
The fifth proved to be one of the most nerve-wracking sets of tennis you could ever witness, lasting for more than 2 hours, with the Croatian finally scraping past his resilient opponent 17-15. The final score was 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-7(3), 17-15.
Wimbledon's policy of no play on Sunday means that the Cilic will get a much-needed additional day of recuperation before he faces the daunting task of overcoming the 4th seeded and crowd favorite, Andy Murray. Murray, meanwhile, looked in fine form in his third round match, overcoming an inspired Baghdatis in four sets. The Briton who had reached the semifinals in his previous two outings, will be looking to make it one step further this time as his conqueror in both the matches, Rafael Nadal suffered a shock upset in the second round of the Championships.
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