Wimbledon 2015: Murray tames threat of big-serving Karlovic

It was raining aces at Wimbledon but Andy Murray weathered the storm to secure his quarter-final progress for the eighth consecutive year.

The number three seed knew he was facing a challenge against Ivo Karlovic, an always dangerous opponent whose name is almost always pre-faced with big-serving.

Karlovic had banged down a tournament leading 136 aces in his first three matches and added another 26 unstoppable bullets before Murray progressed 7-6, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in three hours and three minutes on Centre Court.

Murray needed a full repertoire of shots to book his last eight date with unseeded Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

He hassled and he harried, his 62 winners a mixture of thumping returns, swashbuckling passing shots and deft lobs. He needed all the variety in his game to cope with a player who boasts one very big weapon.

This was certainly a tough examination, though there was no recurrence of the back injury worries of Saturday’s third round win over Italian Andreas Seppi.

Murray spurned six set points before winning a tense opener set that lasted just under an hour and Karlovic was always in the match, until the Scot simply broke his resolve.

“I was expecting nothing different to what I got,” admitted Murray.

“I expected it to be a very difficult match. I expected a lot of the sets to come down to one or two points and that was the case.

“I’m happy that I got that match under my belt, managed to win it, because it could easily have gone the other way. Often he comes out on top in matches like that.

“I just tried to use some variety there throughout the match to not allow him to be too comfortable. It worked at a few important moments.”

Murray had treatment before fulfilling his post-match media commitments but insisted the shoulder injury that worried his supporters didn’t flare up – despite the three hour encounter.

“Although my match was quite long, the rallies weren’t particularly long and it was not as physical, so I feel pretty fresh,” he added.

“The shoulder feels better. I would have liked to have served a little bit bigger and that’s something that as I go on in the tournament, I’ll need to try to do more of. I’m still conscious of it and I’m playing with quite a lot of taping on the shoulder.

“I played for three hours and it feels better than it did three, four days ago, which is positive.”

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