Five things we learned from Andy Murray’s defeat of Fabio Fognini

Andy Murray celebrates beating Italy's Fabio Fognini. Picture: GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Andy Murray celebrates beating Italy's Fabio Fognini. Picture: GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
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Andy Murray survived his first test of the Wimbledon fortnight against Fabio Fognini to reach the fourth round at the All England Club. The world number one triumphed 6-2 4-6 6-1 7-5 and will face France’s Benoit Paire on Monday.

HIS FIGHTING SPIRIT CANNOT BE QUESTIONED

Murray has struggled for form in 2017 and has suffered some shock losses, including being convincingly outplayed by Fognini in Rome. But the Scot is a different animal at the grand slams and refused to be taken to a fifth set, recovering from 2-5 and saving five set points.

FIRST TEST PASSED

Murray had breezed through his first two matches, so this could have been the test of his form - and his fitness - that he needed. He will certainly know a lot more about where his game is at than after facing the highly unorthodox pair of Alexander Bublik and Dustin Brown.

FOG’S RED MIST

Fognini is a combustible character - he was handed the biggest single fine in Wimbledon history in 2014. He will be parting with more of his prize money this year after being warned for racket abuse - damaging the court is treated extremely seriously - and then docked a point for the rarely seen offence of a visible obscenity.

HOME CROWD MOTIVATE MURRAY

Murray has learned over the years how to make the very most of his home advantage at Wimbledon and a deafening Centre Court crowd certainly helped swing the momentum his way. The roaring British support gave Murray a much-needed lift while Fognini, never one to need much prodding, became a picture of irritation.

MURRAY WILL NEED TO PLAY BETTER

A test can certainly be positive but Murray will not win a third Wimbledon title on that form. He was pushed well behind the baseline by the aggressive play of Fognini and struggled to stay in control of rallies. With Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic all looking ominous, nothing but Murray’s best will do.