Andy Murray tonight progressed through to the Wimbledon quarter-finals in a gruelling five-set win over Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka that continued under artificial light long after the sun had gone down.
He beat Wawrinka 2-6 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-3. The Swiss player was a significant step up in class from Murray's three previous opponents.
He is ranked world number 18 but has been a top 10 player and won the gold medal in the doubles with compatriot Roger Federer at the Beijing Olympics.
As such he was always going to be a dangerous opponent, even if Murray had beaten him at the US Open with the loss of just seven games.
Murray was in trouble in the fifth game of the second set but managed to save two break points on his serve and then produced a brilliant running forehand to salvage the game.
At the end of the next game Wawrinka received treatment from the trainer for what appeared to be a thigh muscle strain.
But Murray was clawing his way into the match, imploring the Centre Court crowd to get behind him.
And they did, Murray forcing the errors to break the Wawrinka serve in the eighth game before serving out to take the set 6-3 and tie the match at one set each.
Murray was required to save three break points in a tough sixth game of the third set which went to four deuces.
But his obstinacy paid off immediately in the next game when Wawrinka had a lapse of concentration, missing several easy forehands, to allow Murray to seize the initiative and take the crucial break.
The confidence appeared to return to Murray's game and with his first-serve percentage increasing with each game the crowd sensed a shift of momentum as the Scot broke again in the ninth game to take the set 6-3 and control of the match at two sets to one.
The fourth set was a tense struggle as Murray was forced to save break points on his serve.
The rallies became longer and the hitting even heavier and the tension greater.
Eventually, it was Murray whose nerve broke, along with a string in the 11th game, allowing Wawrinka to gain the vital service break.
The man from Lausanne promptly served out with a heavy ace to take the set 7-5 and take a fascinating encounter into a fifth set.Reuse content