Britain’s Andy Murray overcame a shoulder problem to beat Italy’s Andreas Seppi in four sets and secure a place in the second week of Wimbledon.
Murray, seeded third, won 6-2 6-2 1-6 6-1 to set up a fourth-round match with Croatian 23rd seed Ivo Karlovic.
There were worrying moments for the 2013 champion as he failed to win a game for 40 minutes and had treatment to his shoulder in the fourth set.
But having lost six games in a row, Murray, 28, swept through the last six.
Asked about the shoulder issue, Murray said: “It’s something I had the last two, three days. I only really feel it when I’m serving but it’s not something that’s of major concern to me.
“It’s stiffness and every time I finish a practice or anything, I have my back manipulated.
“The physio came on the court and said it was like a machine gun going off when he laid on top of me. Literally my back cracked a lot. That’s been the case for the last few days.”
Murray had won his last six matches against 25th seed Seppi and appeared on course for another straightforward win when he led by two sets after little over an hour.
With all areas of his game working smoothly, the Scot was in complete control thanks to four breaks of serve, only for two medical timeouts to shift the momentum.
It was Seppi, 31, who first called the trainer to work on his ankle, and the break in play had a major effect on both men, with Murray double-faulting twice on the resumption to drop serve.
An unexpected lapse threatened to become something more serious when Murray dropped serve again, clutching his shoulder, and Seppi then broke at the start of the third set as his opponent screamed “Useless!” at his own efforts.
The British number one was now in real trouble, requiring an intensive bout of treatment to his shoulder at the changeover, but once again the break in play benefited the injured party.
Urged on by a now fired-up Centre Court crowd, Murray resumed with the positive intent of his early play and recovered the break to end a 40-minute period without winning a game.
The world number three dominated the closing stages, clambering all over the Seppi serve as he broke three times to secure victory in two hours and eight minutes.
Murray confirmed that Seppi’s medical time-out had contributed to his shoulder problem, saying: “Obviously when you do take a break, it does stiffen up and my serve was pretty bad after that happened.
“Once I had the treatment, I served much better.”
Seppi said he had called the trainer because his ankle hurt and joked that the physio had brought both men good fortune.
“It looks like if he touches you, you can’t lose any more,” said the Italian.