For Andy Murray's sake it's a good job they don't have a high-speed roof at Wimbledon. It takes an age to get that thing shut but that worked in Murray's favour on Saturday night – what a difference a delay can make.
It was like two different matches and, thankfully for Murray and all you guys in the UK, he got the second one spot on, which is why he's back for this afternoon's showtime against Marin Cilic. Holy cow, do they breed them big in Croatia – Cilic may be smaller than Ivo Karlovic but this boy is still a towering 6ft 6in and this is going to be a big challenge for Murray.
First let's tie up Saturday night because this was an important moment in the Murray/Ivan Lendl relationship. Before the roof was closed, Murray was slicing the majority of his backhands and every one of them was aimed cross court. That was a huge mistake. He was becoming frustrated too and there were a couple of tumbles. It was not far from disaster.
So what did Lendl do? He earned his corn, man. He made Murray slice down the line and become much more offensive with the two-handed backhand, including down the line as well. His passing shot, one of the game's best, was back and Murray began to tick.
Marcos Baghdatis – a great friend of Murray's, by the way – got his tactics wrong. He came in, but hesitantly. If you make a commitment to come to the net you give away the lob – but put your nose on the net and let them lob and you will come out way on top over the course of a match.
Cilic is a different player. He has weapons. Baghdatis hit some good forehands but he didn't have a consistent weapon. Cilic is a guy who many picked out a few years ago as part of a group of players who could one day dominate.
He's always had the potential but there comes a time when that has to become something more solid. Promise doesn't win prizes.His record in the Slams isn't great – there's a semi-final in the US and this is the second time he's reached the fourth round here. But he's got the skills; he keeps good control, is a big boy physically so is not going to be out-hit, and he moves well. As with all the top players, he doesn't really have a weakness you can pick on.
Overall that match on Saturday helped Murray – it was a good win and his serving after the delay was real impressive. But there is a potentially key question – how sore is Murray? He was like Boris Becker tumbling around on that grass out there but I'm not sure he's as robust as Becker. Murray will have to be healthy. He would have a legitimate case if he has got a leg injury, and if you doubt that then just watch the footage back. That was a dangerous fall.
This will not be an easy match – this will not be one, two, three sets and then home. The ability of Murray as it goes on to be relentless with his groundstrokes will be the deciding factor. The consistency and the way Murray covers the court will give him the edge.
Both have to get over big efforts on Saturday, but they will. With the adrenalin flowing, tiredness won't mean a thing. It's like jet lag – it's a load of bull, man. If you can't get up for this, pack up the racket. Will Murray be ready? Absolutely. Will Cilic be ready? Absolutely. This is Wimbledon. Game on.Reuse content