Andy Murray survived a scare on Centre Court on Friday but eventually overcame volatile Italian Fabio Fognini in four sets with a dramatic surge to dig himself out of trouble. The British defending champion triumphed 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5, winning five consecutive games in the fourth set and saving five set points to book himself a spot in the fourth round.
Fognini gives Murray a rough ride
Murray struggled to find his rhythm throughout the match or read what was his third unpredictable opponent in a row after Alexander Bublik and Dustin Brown. The world number one faces France's unseeded Benoît Paire on Monday for a place in the quarter-finals.
“I served it out really well to finish. But it was a very up and down match. I didn't feel like it was the best tennis at times. It was a little bit tense but I managed to get through. It was also getting dark towards the end. We would probably had to have come off and closed the roof had I lost that fourth set so you're thinking a little bit about that as well, a change of conditions and a 20-minute break to think about things before playing a fifth set. So obviously pleased to get off in four”, a visibly relieved and happy Murray said afterwards.
Venus Williams taken to task by Osaka on Court One
Naomi Osaka wasn't even born when Venus Williams made her All England Club debut, but it was the 37-year-old who triumphed on Friday to book her place in the last 16 at Wimbledon. It was by no means easy though for five-times Wimbledon winner Williams to turn that 20 years of experience on the grass at SW19 into a win against the 59th ranked 19-year-old.
The 7-6(3) 6-4 result does not truly reflect the powerful attacking and spectacular winners from Osaka, who did enough in this encounter to suggest that longer runs at Wimbledon could be in her future.
Indeed, despite her tender age, Osaka, whose mother is Japanese and father Haitian, has reached the third round in each of the Grand Slams. The 19-year-old, who moved to the United States as a young child, has made no secret of being a fan of the Williams sisters, but she was far from over-awed by the occasion or her opponent.
"I think I started tennis because of them ... (but) going into the match, I tried not to think of her that much of how I normally do. I tried to think of her as a normal opponent so that I didn't hold her on that high of a pedestal, that would make me too nervous, I think, to play her," she said.