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Murray Defeats Baghdatis At Night; Cilic Wins Historic Match

Wimbledon, England

Cilic© AFP/Getty ImagesMarin Cilic won the second longest match in Wimbledon history.

World No. 4 Andy Murray continued to make his way through a difficult Wimbledon draw Saturday, defeating former semi-finalist Marcos Baghdatis 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 in a third-round clash that finished at 11:02 pm. Murray’s next opponent, 16th seed Marin Cilic, outlasted Sam Querrey 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-7(3) 17-15 in five hours and 31 minutes to win the second longest match in tournament history.

A three-time semi-finalist at SW19, Murray created 23 break point opportunities, converting six to seal the win under the closed roof on Centre Court. After three equally competitive sets, Murray surged ahead in the fourth set, taking it in 28 minutes.

“I think the quality of tennis improved under the roof,” said Murray. “I was under the impression I was stopping at 11:00 regardless of what the score was. Even if it was in the middle of a game. But, yeah, [I’m] obviously glad that I managed to get the finish. And the atmosphere at the end was excellent.”

The Dunblane native holds a 5-1 record over Cilic, winning their most recent encounter at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Paris two years ago.

“It will be important for me to try to get off to a good start in the match against him,” Murray said. “If you are feeling a little bit tired and you go behind, it can be tough to come back.”

Cilic advanced to the second week at the All England Club for the first time since 2008. He improved to 3-0 against Querrey, defeating him for the second straight tournament on grass, having won a three-set contest in the AEGON Championships semi-finals at the Queen’s Club.

“We didn't have too many rallies that were physically tough,” Cilic said. “It was a lot of serving and one or two shots. It's more of walking in the match for that long.

“I played this year also five hours and ten minutes with Nalbandian on clay in Argentina in Davis Cup, so that was really difficult physically. I would say this was more mentally tough to stay in there and to cope with all the things that are coming.”

After seeing his two-set lead evaporate, Cilic had the disadvantage of serving second in the fifth set, but broke at 5-5 for a chance to serve out the match. But Querrey earned his first break point of the set in the ensuing game and converted to level at 6-6.

From there, the two exchanged 18 consecutive service holds before the Croat broke through at 15-15 to give himself another opportunity to win the match. At 30-30 in a massive rally that defined the intensity of the encounter, Cilic dictated as Querrey fought with every ounce, before Cilic drew an error to reach match point. His final serve was unreturned by Querrey to clinch the marathon clash.

Cilic hit 85 winners to 58 unforced errors, and was more effective on second serve with a 64 per cent success rate, compared to Querrey’s 47 per cent.

“I feel good,” said Querrey. “I could have won that first set. It slipped away. Even though I lost, I feel like I played well. I'm looking forward to the summer. I feel like I'm playing at a top level.  Even though I lost, I'm confident going into the summer and putting up some results.”

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© Neven Gerencir

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