Andy Murray beats Ivo Karlovic to reach Wimbledon last eight

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Wimbledon
Wimbledon 2015: Andy Murray beats Ivo Karlovic in fourth round
Wimbledon 2015
Venue: All England Club Dates: 29 June - 12 July
Play: Outside courts 11:30 BST; Centre Court and Court One 13:00 BST
BBC coverage: Across TV, radio and online with up to 15 live streams. Read more: TV and radio schedules.

Britain's Andy Murray overcame the big serving of 6ft 11in Ivo Karlovic to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the eighth year in a row.

The 2013 champion, seeded third, won 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 5-7 6-4 in three hours and three minutes on Centre Court.

Murray, 28, let the third set slip with a loose service game, but a Hawk-Eye challenge on a line call helped earn him the key break in the fourth.

He goes on to face unseeded Canadian Vasek Pospisil in the last eight.

There was no mystery surrounding the threat posed by 36-year-old Karlovic, who went into the match with a tournament-leading 136 aces and added another 29 to his total.

It took 62 winners, among them numerous flashing passes and a succession of winning lobs, for Murray to prevail.

"I came up with some good lobs and passing shots. I just needed to keep him low," Murray told BBC Sport.

"It was an incredibly difficult match. It was mentally tiring. Maybe not as tiring physically due to the points being so quick.

Tim Henman, former British number one
"Even losing the third set, Andy Murray did a good job of maintaining his positive energy. When another serve flies past you it is easy to get frustrated because you don't know when a chance will come.
"Also, when you are playing Karlovic you have to adapt quickly because the serve is coming from such a great height and then it is bouncing up on the hard ground, but Murray has the skills and dexterity to adapt to that."

"You've always got to be ready to take your chances. It's about getting the balance right and getting through. It wasn't going to be the best tennis, it was about getting through."

The Scot had won all five of his previous matches against Karlovic and was prepared for the barrage of aces, but could not always contain his frustration as the Croat repeatedly snuffed out chances with towering serves.

From 12 break points, Murray converted twice, the crucial second coming at 3-3 in the fourth set after Hawk-Eye judged a Karlovic volley to have drifted two millimetres wide.

Murray had earlier come through a tense 56-minute opening set in which five break points and six set points disappeared before he was able to edge the tie-break.

He looked well set when he finally claimed his first break of serve early in the second set thanks to two terrific returns, and moved two sets up after an hour and a half's play.

Ivo Karlovic
Ivo Karlovic hit 29 aces, compared to eight for Andy Murray

Murray fended off a break point early in the third when he sent a Karlovic forehand back past the Croat into the open court, roaring in delight, but his hopes of a straight-set win were derailed after two break points slipped by.

With a second tie-break looming, Murray broke a string when serving at 30-30 and moments later was smashing his new racquet in frustration after two errors handed Karlovic the set.

With opportunities fleeting, the Centre Court crowd groaned as one when the Briton missed an attempted backhand pass at 30-30 early in the fourth.

In the end, Murray's ability to return the Karlovic serve proved the difference as a lunging backhand drew the error at 3-3, 30-30, and the Croat then slid a backhand volley so narrowly wide that it needed Hawk-Eye to confirm the error.

There was one more chance for Karlovic but he could only blaze a forehand wide at break point in the following game, and Murray leapt in celebration when he closed out a hard-fought win just after the three-hour mark.