Andy Murray has reached the fourth round at Wimbledon as the defending champion overcame Fabio Fognini 6-2 4-6 6-1 7-5 in a highly dramatic clash.
Murray was solid early on and punished his opponent’s erratic play at times to break twice, as Fognini gifted the Brit the opener with a double fault. However, the combination of Murray’s form dipping and the unpredictable Italian improving saw Fognini respond in the second set, producing some magnificent aggressive tennis to level the match at one set apiece.
The Brit though managed to fire himself up in the third set and as Fognini looked to have suffered an injury early in the set, Murray quickly captured the momentum to swiftly regain the lead in the contest. Fognini though rediscovered his sparkling form in the fourth set and gained the break, as the match appeared destined for a decider. Despite the Italian holding many set points, Fognini ultimately couldn’t clinch it as Murray crucially broke back at 5-3 down to eventually level at 5-5. The Brit was in the ascendancy and ensured another twist in this gripping encounter, breaking his dispirited opponent in the following game. The world number one had shown a remarkable display of determination and steel to somehow escape a final set, as Murray went on to emphatically serve out the match.
In the fourth round, Murray will meet Benoit Paire as the Frenchman defeated the former SW19 semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz in straight sets.
As for the other Brits, Johanna Konta joined Murray in the fourth round by sweeping aside Maria Sakkari 6-4 6-1. However, Aljaz Bedene went down in straight sets to an in-form Gilles Muller, while Victoria Azarenka defeated Heather Watson 3-6 6-1 6-4. Watson made an assertive start to claim the first set, but Azarenka found her range to hit back to force a decider. Even though Watson battled hard to recover from a break down in the final set, Azarenka regained the break immediately to go 5-4 up and eventually closed out the win.
In the men’s matches, Rafael Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov and Novak Djokovic all went through as last year’s finalist Milos Raonic also joined them with a straight sets win over Albert Ramos Vinolas. However, Kei Nishikori suffered a four set defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut and Jo Wilfried Tsonga also exited the tournament at the hands of Sam Querry.
On the women’s side, Venus Williams, Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina all notched straight set victories as Garbine Muguruza is also through to round four. Meanwhile, Angelique Kerber battled back from a set down to prevail 4-6 7-6 6-4 over Shelby Rogers, and Agnieszka Radwanska also needed three sets to progress.