London: Defending champion Andy Murray defeated Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 here to advance to the fourth round at Wimbledon.
The world number 1 needed two hours and 39 minutes on Friday to dispatch the tournament’s 29th seed in front of 15,000 spectators at Centre Court of the All England Club, Efe news reported.
Fognini, 30, who bested the Briton in May at the Italian Open, looked unimpressive in the first set but recovered to win the second and make it a contest.
Plagued by an ankle injury, the Italian floundered in the third set.
Even so, he was the better player in the early going of the fourth set, taking a 5-2 lead despite being penalised a point for an obscenity.
But Murray came roaring back to win five consecutive games and claim a berth in the fourth round, where he will face Benoit Paire of France.
“The end of the match was tense. It was an up and down match. I didn’t feel like it was the best tennis at times but I managed to get through,” the 30-year-old said after the match.
“I didn’t feel I moved as well as the first couple of matches but I’ve got a couple of days break now and can work on that and hopefully get myself in a good rhythm and play some good tennis on Monday,” Murray said.