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Murray grinds out Fognini win

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 07-07-2017 skysports.com

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Getty
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Defending champion Andy Murray made it through to a 10th successive last 16 appearance at Wimbledon with a hard-fought victory over flamboyant Italian Fabio Fognini.

Top-ranked Murray saved five set points in the final set, winning the last five games to come through 6-2 4-6 6-1 7-5 in two hours and 39 minutes.

Murray hasn't lost before the fourth round of any Grand Slam for seven years, but he suffered a heavy straight-sets defeat to Fognini at the Rome Masters as recently as May.

He was wary of Fognini from the off as his flashy shot-making skills brought gasps of approval from the Centre Court crowd on a cool Friday evening in south-west London.

But with the extravagant winners also came a string of unforced errors as early as the sixth game with the Scot quickly taking complete control, and then being gifted the set in under 30 minutes following back-to-back double faults.

The pair traded breaks at the start of the second, but a miscued backhand return handed Fognini the opportunity he was craving as Murray's level dropped, and the Italian soon made it a level game.

Fognini turned his right ankle early in the next set and was clearly wincing with pain on serve. His lack of movement cost him a break and Murray moved up a gear to stretch his advantage to 4-1 before the trainer was eventually called.

With Fognini's movement seemingly restricted due to strapping, a loss of concentration helped Murray break again before he served out the set.

Fognini, the 28th seed, was trying to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon for the first time, and he received a point penalty by Umpire Damien Dumusois for a "visible obscenity" in the fourth game.

That only seemed to spur the enigmatic Fognini on, although he was helped on his way by an uncharacteristic double fault from Murray, costing him a break of serve and a 5-2 lead. Four set points came and went for the 30-year-old when Murray struck back and then saved a fifth set point before levelling up.

Suddenly the momentum had swung the way of the top seed and another break ensured he would serve for the match. He marched on into the second week in emphatic fashion thanks to his 15th ace to complete a rollercoaster victory.

Next up for Murray is a second career meeting with Benoit Paire after the Frenchman saw off Jerzy Janowicz from Poland 6-2 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

The Scot hopes to become the first Briton to successfully defend a Grand Slam title since Fred Perry at Wimbledon from 1934-1936.

For those on the move, we will have Wimbledon covered via our website skysports.com/tennis and then click through to our dedicated section skysports.com/tennis/wimbledon. On the move? Head to our app for mobile devices and iPad, or follow our Twitter account @SkySportsTennis to join in the conversation. Who will win the All England Club titles this summer? Have your say...

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