Andy Murray's pursuit of his first grand slam title remained on track after the world number four recovered from two sets down to beat unseeded Robin Haase at the US Open in a script ready-made for Broadway.
A three-time grand slam finalist, Murray survived a wild, fist-pumping final set for a 6-7 2-6 6-2 6-0 6-4 victory over the Dutchman under sunny skies on Friday at Flushing Meadows.
"You're relieved to get through a long one like that, especially when you're behind," said Murray. "I'm just glad I'm in the next round and get a chance to improve and play better and give myself a chance."
The 41st-ranked Haase took advantage of an erratic Murray in the first two sets before the Scotsman dug deep and claimed the next two in just 64 minutes at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
Murray won 13 straight games on his way to a 4-0 lead in the final set and most of the crowd believed Haase's chance for an upset had vanished.
But the Dutchman won the next four games to level the match and provide a brand of electrifying drama rarely seen outside of Manhattan's theater district.
Murray then broke Haase to take a 5-4 lead before surviving several break points to win the match.
"I'm going to need to play better on Sunday or I'll be going home," said Murray, who next faces Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
"You can't come through four or five matches like that. I'm going to need to play better, for sure. Physically I'm good. I feel fine. No pain or aches. That's a huge positive."
Haase received medical attention after the third set for a nagging thigh injury he said hampered his movement.
"It was so difficult for me to focus on what I had to do because, if he let me run into the forehand corner for example, I wasn't really there to hit a good shot," he said.
Haase took advantage of some sloppy serving early and a slew of unforced errors by Murray, but ultimately blew his chance by converting only six of 20 break-point opportunities.
"He's an unbelievable tennis player," Haase said of Murray. He plays like a chess player. He plays the game really smart. He's fit and athletic. He's so good at everything."
Murray said he enjoyed giving the New Yorkers a good show. At the end of the three-hour 23-minute affair he raced to the net and leaped into the air, pumping his fist.
"They love emotion and they love sort of a bit of drama, and also kind of long points, someone fighting their way back," he said.
"I've always enjoyed playing here, so I need to try and make sure I get my emotions right in the next match, make sure I get the crowd involved a bit, show some fist pumps and 'C'mons!'
"That's what I always did when I was a kid, and that's when I felt like I always moved my best, when I enjoyed playing tennis the most.
"I enjoyed the end of the match, and I think that showed."