Andy Murray of Britain celebrates after defeating Marin Cilic of Croatia in their men’s singles tennis match at Wimbledon (Reuters)
The fourth-seeded Briton had been leading by one set and 3-1 40-0 in the second when rain ended Monday’s play and was clearly in no mood to hang around.
He got to 4-2 in the six minutes of play before the covers went on once more and, after 51 minutes off court again, returned with all guns blazing, holding to love and breaking 16th seed Cilic to take the second set.
As sporadic showers continued to bother Court One, Murray sprang eagerly from his chair at changeovers and was already jogging into position to play when the umpire called time.
Only once more did the rain get serious enough for the umpire to climb down from his perch but this time officials and the two players, sheltering under umbrellas, waited it out and play resumed after four minutes.
Murray, burdened with a nation’s hopes that he might become the first British man to reach the Wimbledon final since 1938, raced to 4-1 up, hitting three aces in the fifth game.
Cilic, who had come through the second-longest match in Wimbledon history when he beat American Sam Querrey in the previous round, saved four breakpoints to hold in a long sixth game.