Murray wins late-night epic
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:38
In the latest-ever finish at Wimbledon, 10.39pm, and with the famous hill still packed but in total darkness, the Scot needed the assistance of a partisan crowd and some raucous support from his mum Judy to defeat Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 2-6 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-3.
Murray now faces wild-card entry Juan Carlos Ferrero in the quarter-finals in his continuing quest to make history by becoming the first Briton to win the singles title for 73 years.
The crowd witnessed three hours and 57 minutes triumph of determination and desire for Murray, spectacular entertainment and validation of Wimbledon’s decision to spend around Â£80million on their new roof which had been put to its first use when showers halted the previous match between Dinara Safin and Amelie Mauresmo.
It was all the more creditable because Murray could not have started worse, losing the opening game on serve when Wawrinka unleashed some of his trademark backhand winners.
The indoor conditions and the anticipation seemed to have unnerved Murray for the first time. He was also struggling to control the power of Wawrinka who broke serve again in the third game and went on to overpower the Scot in what was a brilliant first set.
Murray was required to save three break points in a tough sixth game of the third set which went to four deuces and it turned out to be a significant momentum swing. In the next game Wawrinka’s concentration lapsed. He missed several easy forehands and Murray seized the initiative by taking the crucial break.
The fourth set was a tense struggle, full of heavy hitting, but it was Wawrinka who dug in to gain the only break in the 11th game.
And so it went to a fifth set in which Murray was first to strike, coming back from 40-love down to break the Wawrinka serve and wrest the momentum, only for the man from Lausanne to claw his way back from 3-0 behind.
It was down to guts and sheer will, and although Murray looked weary he dug deep to break the Wawrinka serve once more in the eighth game and clinch a famous victory.