Andy Murray hauled himself off the ropes to defeat Fabio Fognini in four sets and reach the fourth round at Wimbledon after a gruelling clash at SW19.

Murray took control of proceedings early on, clinically breaking the Italian and holding firm to win the first set 6-2. But Fognini, seeded 28 for the tournament, was in no mood to roll over and levelled the match with some dominant baseline work and commanding forehands that Murray, who was still seemingly troubled by a nagging hip injury, could not cope with.

The third set started evenly but Murray capitalised on the ankle knock suffered by Fognini to regain his set advantage. The former Australian Open doubles champion came back once again in the fourth though, dictating play for large periods with Murray moving awkwardly and hitting the net with disturbing regularity.

It looked for all the world to be heading to a decider, but Murray dug deep as he so often has throughout his career to break Fognini back after the Italian number one missed five chances to close out the set.

The world number one's frustration was evident with himself, Fognini and the line judges, but he was able to rally to break again and serve out the match to secure one of the most hardest victories of his Wimbledon career.

Also on Centre Court, Rafael Nadal maintained his imperious recent form with a straight sets win over Karen Khachanov. The man from Manacor, looking comfortable on grass for the first time in years, raced out the blocks in the first set, breaking the Russian three times to take it 6-1 before wrapping up the second in routine fashion.

The King of the Clay was made to work hard to clinch the victory as Khachanov forced a tiebreak, but Nadal managed to grind out the set to secure a largely comfortable victory and book his place in the fourth round for the first time since 2014.

Elsewhere, ninth seed Kei Nishikori suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Spaniard and 18th seed Roberto Bautista-Agut. The Japanese star, tipped to be a real dangerman in Murray's half of the draw, was dumped out in four sets by Bautista-Agut, who has equalled his best ever performance at the All-England Club.

Andy Murray
Murray was battered and bruised but ended up victorious. Getty Images