Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller produced an astonishing Houdini act to reach the quarterfinals at Queen’s Club, saving 10 match points to beat seventh seed John Isner.
Muller, ranked 41, came through a marathon second-set tiebreak 18-16 having lost the opener 3-6 and edged the deciding set tiebreaker 9-7 to seal an unlikely victory.
American Isner launched a tournament-record 43 aces, but Muller, who banged down 26 of his own, refused to bow down and claimed victory on his first match point.
His escape was only one short of the ATP record for match points saved in a victory. Only Italian Adriano Panatta, who saved 11 match points before defeating Australia’s Kim Warwick at Italian Open 40 years ago, trumps Muller’s match-saving exploits.
It was far more straightforward for top seed Andy Murray, who eased past fellow Briton Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-4.
The 29-year-old Murray required a single break of serve to take the opening set and recovered from a minor wobble in the second to subdue the Slovenia-born Bedene and book another all-British clash with wildcard Kyle Edmund.
Murray pounced in the eighth game of the opening set, but his serene progress was halted when he surrendered an early break in the second set as Bedene capitalised on a momentary lapse.
With coach Ivan Lendl impassively watching on, world No.2 Murray quickly restored order and broke to lead 4-3 before rolling on to victory as he continues his build-up to Wimbledon.
“I thought it was not bad. A very different opponent from the first round. Aljaz plays most of the time from the back. I’m still getting used to the conditions a bit, but I played well,” Murray said on court.
His next opponent Edmund had earlier received a walkover when Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu pulled out before their match with a wrist injury.
16 February 2017
In the first part of our series analysing the similarities and differences between men's ... More
26 May 2016
How confidently could you answer these questions about the rules of tennis?1. Can you star... More
2 February 2017
Whether it is stretching to a wide forehand or simply moving to the ball, the physical nat... More