Andy Murray resumed his epic round of 16 encounter with Viktor Troicki at Roland Garros today and completed his comeback after coming back from 2-5 down in the deciding set.
He is through to the quarter-finals for the second time in his career and now faces unseeded Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela for a place in the semis.
It completed a fantastic turnaround for the world number four who had trailed by two sets yesterday before pulling it back to 2-2 in the descending dusk of the French capital.
But any signs of the ankle injury which had contributed to his slow start on Court Suzanne Lenglen yesterday were not forthcoming, although the Scot will be far from happy with his start to today’s deciding set.
Murray had two chances to break Troicki early on but failed to take either as the Serb played the pressure points extremely well.
Game six then started in controversial style when a ball boy encroached on the court just as he dispatched a smash to go 0-15 up. The umpire demanded a replay of the point, which Murray then won. But the 15th seed rallied to force Murray in to sending a forehand long to give Troicki the break, before moving 5-2 ahead after saving a Murray break point with a luscious drop shot.
But his nerve faltered when serving at 5-3 for the set. At 30-30, a desperately poor back hand and an attempted drop shot in to the net saw Murray break back and within the blink of an eye it was 5-5.
The set passed the hour mark, and Murray let slip a 40-0 lead when serving for the match, but a superb cross-court backhand on his fourth match point somehow fell in and the comeback was complete.
On Court Philippe Chatrier, Francesca Schiavone completed a comeback of her own to overcome Russian teenager Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and take her place in the semi finals.
With so many seeds having fallen already she will have taken great self belief from her ability to grind out the win when it mattered and she is now well-fancied to make it two French Open titles in a row after her victory over Sam Stosur twelve months ago.
She started terribly, Pavlyuchenkova’s decisive play allowing her to storm to the first set 6-1.
But the Italian fifth seed showed a resilience many of the top stars have been lacking. Trailing 1-4 in the second, she fought back magnificently, taking advantage of the teenager’s obvious nerves to set up a third.
Schiavone’s full arsenal was now on display, but this match between the oldest and youngest members of the Top 20 wasn’t finished yet. With the reigning champion leading 5-1 Pavlyuchenkova again started finding winners and clawed it back to 5-5.
Yet the momentum swung again and despite the 19-year-old Russian saving two match points Schiavone dispatched her third to secure what had looked an unlikely victory.