Cameron Norrie survived a big scare to ensure one British number one made it through to the third round at Wimbledon after a 6-4 3-6 5-7 6-0 6-2 victory over Jaume Munar.
The friendly nature between the former doubles partners may have ended had the Spanish right-hander maintained his level throughout an exciting back and forth battle on Court One.
Norrie made sure he prevented any further misery for home players on the third day of the Championships by coming back to triumph in five sets not long after Emma Raducanu had exited in round two to Carolina Garcia next door.
Ninth seed Norrie had seen off another Spaniard in round one but was up against a familiar opponent.
While the duo had only previously faced off once in Rio de Janeiro in 2019, they played doubles together at the last two Wimbledons and the home favourite had to save a break point in his opening service game.
It would be a sign of things to come but not initially with Norrie able to seal the first set in 36 minutes 6-4.
World number 71 Munar continued to go for his shots and raced into a three-game lead early in the second.
Norrie was able to save the first set point on his own serve in the eighth game but a super backhand volley produced a second and this was sealed with a wonderful lob.
The Spanish number eight was thriving with confidence and another break followed at the beginning of the third.
It was the first of five breaks in the set with Norrie’s brilliant backhand return to clinch the fourth ultimately counting for little after a 134mph Munar ace helped him move two sets to one up in the second round tie.
With Raducanu a set down on Centre Court, hopes for the two British number ones were fading just before 5pm on the third day.
But Norrie moved through the gears and in a flash had forced a decider with an electric fourth set won in 20 minutes.
Two delightful lobs had the crowd on their feet and the momentum had swung, with Munar also in need of treatment during the brief break between sets.
It was only the fifth time the 25-year-old from Spain had ever reached round two of a major and he was running on empty with Norrie no longer being moved around the court.
A backhand winner helped towards an early break in the decider and despite a temporary response from Munar, the world number 11 did not let this latest advantage slip as he reached the last-32 for only the second time in SW19.
Norrie, who will face American Steve Johnson next, said on-court: “It was a tricky match. Jama was putting the ball in so many awkward parts of court and I wasn’t playing my best.
“It was really tough but to turn it around, I am really pleased and with my level at the end. A lot to work on but pleased to get through.”
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