A relieved Novak Djokovic reached the fourth round at Wimbledon on Wednesday when he completed a 7-6, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 victory over gritty German Nicolas Kiefer.
In a rain-interrupted third round match that began on Monday the 20-year-old Serbian fourth seed was stretched to the limit before squeezing through to a last 16 clash with Lleyton Hewitt.
After all the frustrating delays Djokovic began quickly when the match resumed at one set apiece, breaking Kiefer's serve twice to dominate the third set.
Kiefer, who has just returned from a year out with a wrist injury, warmed to the task in the fourth set when the match resumed the pattern of the first two sets.
Serving first he kept Djokovic in range and looked poised to break at 4-3 when the Serb fell 15-40 behind on serve. Showing great maturity, Djokovic cracked down an ace and another service winner to get out of trouble.
Kiefer battled to save a break point at 4-4 and three more at 5-5 as the match headed into its third tiebreak.
Djokovic again came up with some telling winners to move ahead 6-4 in the tiebreak and although Kiefer fended off one matchpoint with a superb return, he miss-hit a backhand at 6-5.