Andy Murray won the latest finish in Wimbledon history to move into the fourth round, as four-time singles champion Serena Williams advanced by serving a record 23 aces.
Britain’s Murray beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 in a match that ended at 11:02 p.m. at the All England Club in London. The Grand Slam tournament has an 11 p.m. curfew, which is when the final game started.
“I was under the impression I was stopping at 11 regardless of what the score was,” No. 4 Murray said in a press conference. “Even if it was in the middle of a game. I’m obviously glad to get the finish.”
Williams broke her own Wimbledon ace record set in 2009 by three in beating China’s Zheng Jie, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 9-7. The American never was broken and produced a love game the three times she served to stay in the championship in the final set.
“It definitely helped me out today because I wasn’t doing my best on my return like I normally do,” Williams told reporters. “So it’s good to know that I can rely on that.”
Today is the traditional rest day at Wimbledon. The entire fourth round will be played tomorrow as men’s top seed Novak Djokovic meets fellow Serb Viktor Troicki and women’s No. 1 Maria Sharapova of Russia faces Sabine Lisicki of Germany.
Play between Murray and Baghdatis was suspended for 34 minutes after the second set to close the roof on Centre Court. When it resumed at 9:34 p.m. local time, Murray rallied back from 4-2 down to win the third set. Baghdatis then folded in the final set and Murray finished the match with a service winner.
Murray next plays Croatian Marin Cilic, who beat American Sam Querrey 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-7 (3-7), 17-15, in a match that lasted five hours, 31 minutes.
Murray’s draw has opened up after two-time champion Rafael Nadal of Spain fell in the second round to Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic. Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber yesterday ended the 100th-ranked Rosol’s run in straight sets.
No. 7 David Ferrer of Spain beat Andy Roddick, a three-time finalist from the U.S., 2-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-4, 6-3.
Roddick, 29, dismissed retirement rumors after the match, saying his performance had given him confidence for the future. He won a grass-court event last week after an unprecedented six-match losing streak.
“It was a good match,” Roddick told reporters. “My last eight matches dating back to last week have all been very, very positive, especially compared to what I was putting out there earlier this year.”
Defending women’s champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic and No. 2 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus both advanced in straight sets. Former French Open winners Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and Francesca Schiavone of Italy also won.
Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova set a record in her 6-0, 6-4 win over French Open finalist Sara Errani by taking all 24 points in the opening set, known as the “Golden Set.” Bill Scanlon was the last player to accomplish the feat in 1983.
“I had no idea every game was 40-love,” Shvedova told reporters. “I was so focused in such a zone.”
Former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, the ninth seed, and No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga both won in straight sets, as did 10th-seeded American Mardy Fish.
American qualifier Brian Baker defeated Benoit Paire to move to the fourth round of a major for the first time. The 27-year-old Baker returned to the tour this year following a five-year break during which he had five surgeries and worked as a tennis coach.