Great Britain's Andy Murray battled past Marcos Baghdatis 4-6 6-1 6-4 to reach the men's singles quarterfinals at the London Games. Murray is now just one win away from Olympic medal contention.
The match was a repeat of their encounter played just a month earlier on the same All England Club courts in the third round of Wimbledon. Murray won that match in four tough sets and found himself in another tight match with the tricky but inconsistent Cypriot on Wednesday.
The atmosphere was electric on Centre Court, with most fans donning British flags to show their support for the world No. 4. There was early disappointment for the majority of those in attendance, however.
The first set took 46 minutes to complete and went in the Cypriot's favor thanks in part to a high winner count. Both players had low first serve percentages in the opening set, and Murray had difficulties finding a rhythm.
In the second set, however, Murray bounced back. Committing fewer unforced errors, the 25-year-old was able to dictate rallies with greater ease. As Baghdatis struggled on his serve, hitting four double faults, Murray raced through the second set to win it 6-1.
By the first point of the final set, Murray's confidence was evident. He began playing more aggressively and crucially increased his first serve percentage dramatically. Murray served at 75 percent, compared to 62 and 53 in the first and second set respectively.
With momentum in his favor, Murray's first serve became a consistent threat and helped prevent Baghdatis from getting any break point opportunities in the final set. Murray hit 16 winners compared to his opponent's 10, and committed only three unforced errors.
In the end, Murray was also able to make more inroads with his returns, which proved to be an important factor in the match.
After clinching the victory, Murray pumped his fist in the air in an emotional celebration on Centre Court in front of an ecstatic crowd.
Murray will now face Nicolas Almagro of Spain in the quarterfinals on Thursday, with the winner set for a tough semifinal against either Novak Djokovic or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga .