London: British fourth seed Andy Murray reached the last 16 at Wimbledon on Friday with a nervy 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) win over Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic under the Centre Court roof.
World number four Murray will face French 17th seed Richard Gasquet on Monday for a place in the quarterfinals.
The 24-year-old Scotsman, looking to become the first British men's champion since Fred Perry in 1936, overcame second set and fourth sets wobbles against the tournament's oldest player to secure his place in the second week.
"It was a tough one. Both of us were struggling a bit behind our second serves," said Murray.
"When I served for the match (at 5-4 in the fourth set) he swung and made it. You'll have tough sets and you'll have to come through tough matches in Grand Slams.”
"It's very intense here - I just need to serve better, but I returned well and I'm ready. I thought tonight's match was a very, very high standard."
Ljubicic, playing on Centre Court for the first time, had been a break ahead in the first set to lead 4-3 before Murray took the next three games to secure the opener.
The Croatian, bidding to reach the last 16 for the first time, was comfortably on top in the second before Murray enjoyed a double break in a one-sided third set.
Murray broke to lead 3-2 in the fourth set and his confidence was so high at this stage that he even won a point with a cheeky between the legs shot at the net in the seventh game.
But Ljubicic rallied from 2-4 down to lead 6-5 before Murray played the smoother tie-breaker.
Monday's clash with Gasquet will be an intriguing affair.
Gasquet was two sets to love ahead of Murray in their fourth round meeting at Wimbledon in 2008 before the Scot rallied to win.
The flamboyant French shot-maker also took a two sets to love lead when they met again at the French Open in 2010 and, once again, Murray hit back to take the next three and victory.
First Published: Saturday, June 25, 2011, 09:28