Andy Murray needed the better part of three hours to survive an Argentine threat, with the Scot defeating Pedro Cachin 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(3) on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP Gijon event.
The outing on Spain’s northern Atlantic coast proved to be a real workout for three-time Grand Slam winner Murray, ranked 48th.
He overcame 13 aces off his opponent’s racquet while managing just five of his own and dropping serve four times.
Murray’s win was the 712th of his career.
“I think I served well in the second and third sets. I fought very hard,” he said.
“In the first set I wasn’t playing my best and Pedro was serving very well for the first set and a half. I was really struggling to break serve.
“I changed the way I was returning to give myself more opportunities to break. I fought very hard to come back from a break down twice in the third set.”
The Spanish 250 is a one-off tournament which helps fill a gap in the autumn calendar due to the impossibility of staging the usual Tour events in COVID-lockdown China.
Murray struggled throughout his massive comeback effort, failing to come good on five break chances in the opening set while losing his own serve twice.
While the 35-year-old improved as he won the second set to stay alive, the final set was another battle as he twice came back from break down before wrapping up victory in a tiebreaker.
Murray ended with 31 winners and 19 unforced errors as he moves closer to a fist career title since Antwerp three years ago.