Andy Murray may have given the partisan Wimbledon crowd a scare en route to reaching the fourth round but he insists he found top gear towards the end of his victory over Andreas Seppi.
On paper, Murray’s 6-2, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 win in the third round appears relatively routine but the sight of the trainer vigorously working on the Brit’s shoulder at the beginning of the fourth set ensured an eerie hush descended on a previously raucous Centre Court.
However, that medical timeout ultimately did the trick as Murray reeled off the next six games to set-up a last 16 clash with big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic on Monday.
The third seed was largely in second gear as he cruised to the opening two sets but after upping the ante following a third set blip, he could reflect on a job well done.
“I thought I played very well – there was part of the second set where I struggled a little bit but how I finished the match is how I want to play the rest of the way,” explained Murray.
“I want to try and use that positive energy on the court. I was playing very aggressive tennis at the end, going for my serves and being aggressive from the back of the court, so I finished the match how hopefully I can go on.
“My shoulder began to hurt, you could probably see a little bit towards the end of the second set that I started to tighten up.
“It was just next to my shoulder blade and it slowed down my serve a bit but the trainer came out, manipulated my back and gave it a few good cracks.
“He’s a 90kg guy lying right on top of you, so it’s not that pleasant but it helped!”
The victory means Murray is still on track to add a second Wimbledon title to the one he captured in 2013.
He has now reached the second week of the Championships in nine of his ten appearances but the powerful Karlovic – who beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 to make the last 16 – is the next obstacle in his way.
The Croat is the oldest man to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon in 39 years and Murray is under no illusions about the literally gigantic – Karlovic is 6ft 10in – test that awaits.
“It will be a very different match to today,” added Murray.
“Most of the points were played from the back of the court today but against Ivo, he’s going to be coming to the net a lot and he has served very well this tournament.
“I think in two of his matches he has served over 40 aces, so my returns are going to have to be on if I want to get through that one.”
© Sportsbeat 2015