ANDY MURRAY continued to do it the hard way as he reached the last eight of the Brisbane International with a three-set win over Gilles Muller.
The British number one went a set down for the second day in succession after a woeful final service game, but levelled after a second-set tie-break.
And he rampaged through the final set without dropping a game to complete a 4-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-0 success and set up a quarter-final against Marcos Baghdatis.
The first set remained on serve as far as 3-3 and, though Muller was taken to multiple deuces in his next service game, he prevailed to move 4-3 up. Murray followed his fifth ace with his second double fault but comfortably pulled level again, but he was left serving to stay in the set after Muller held once more.
And he was broken to love as Muller made the most of his increasingly dominant groundstrokes to close out the set 6-4.
But Murray responded well to going a set behind, breaking in the first game of the second set.
He defended the break and then pegged Muller back from 40-15 to deuce, but this time the Luxembourg player held firm. And he broke back in the fourth game, with the aid of a fortunate cross-court winner off his backhand, and then held for a 3-2 lead.
An ace settled his next service game in his favour as the set score reached 4-3 and Murray was forced to dig deep when trailing 15-40 in the next game, two big serves denying Muller the chance to serve for the match. It meant the world number four would instead have to serve to stay in it, but he did so to make it 5-5. A love hold for Muller forced him to repeat the feat, but he duly set up a tie-break and claimed an early mini-break.
Muller twice netted before Murray moved 6-2 up with an outlandish backhand winner, and he took his third set point to take the match into a decider.
He raced to a love hold in the opening game and followed it with another early break en route to a 3-0 lead.
A second break and a hold from 0-30 down meant Muller was the one serving to stay in the match – and he was unable to do so.