Murray cruises into last 16 as Hewitt bows out
Originally published on 27/06/14
The third seed needed a little over an hour and a half to seal his place in the fourth round with a 6-2 6-3 6-2 victory over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut. The defending champion is now unbeaten in 16 matches at the All England Club as he prepares to take on 6’8” Kevin Anderson, who became the first South African man to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon since Wayne Ferreira in 2000 after battling back to beat Fabio Fognini 4-6 6-4 2-6 6-2 6-1.
"There were a lot of close games and it's good to get it done in straight sets," Murray told the BBC. "He's the best opponent I've played so far, and as a step up I felt I responded well. There's a few things I could improve on but it's a good first week. I had enough long matches in the French Open to get me physically ready."
Providing he finds his way past Anderson, Murray is likely to meet Queen's champion Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals after the Bulgarian outlasted Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7(3) 6-4 2-6 6-4 6-1. Dimitrov bowed out in the second round to Grega Zemlja last year, losing 11-9 in the fifth set, but he demonstrated the hard work he has been doing with coach Roger Rasheed as he came through a high-intensity contest after two hours as 55 minutes to become the first Bulgarian to reach the fourth round.
In near darkness on Court 3, Marin Cilic won a third set tiebreak to knock out No.6 seed Tomas Berdych 7-6(5) 6-4 7-6(6) to reach the fourth round for a third time.
"It was very, very dark in the tiebreak," said Cilic. "I was very fortunate to be able to win that one. It was very close, especially that third set. I have to say that Tomas stayed in the match unbelievably mentally. I was putting a lot of pressure on him on his serves, and many of his service games I had Love-30, 15-30, a lot of opportunities, small ones. But he was able to always play some great points and he pushed me until the limit."
Lleyton Hewitt broke the Open era record for the most five-set matches at Grand Slams but came up just short in his fightback against Jerzy Janowicz as he was beaten 7-5 6-4 6-7(7) 4-6 6-3. The 2002 champion saved two match points in the third set tie-breaker and also broke back from 5-1 down in the fifth, only for Janowicz to serve out victory in four hours and 47 minutes. The Australian has now played 42 five-set matches at majors, one more than Andre Agassi, but has not reached the third round at Wimbledon since 2010.
Eastbourne champion Feliciano Lopez overcame Ante Pavic 6-4 7-6(5) 7-5 to set up a third-round clash with John Isner. The Spaniard has won 11 of his past 12 matches, including reaching the final at Queen’s and defending his title in Eastbourne, and is yet to drop a set at Wimbledon.
"The match was very close," said Lopez. "I think he was really confident. He had a great win against [Alejandro] Falla in the first round. It was tough for me. It was tough for me to return his serve. He was serving very good. Finally I found a way somehow to make the break in the third again and I won, so I have to be happy.
“I have to play my best if I want to beat John. It is going to be a very close match. He's serving like an animal, as you saw against [Jarkko] Nieminen.”
Also into the third round is Santiago Giraldo after he completed a 4-6 7-6(2) 1-6 6-1 7-5 victory over Marcel Granollers. The match was suspended last night due to rain early in the fifth set and it was Colombian Giraldo who came out strongest to set up a meeting with Roger Federer.