Andy Murray's thrilling five-set victory over Richard Gasquet at Wimbledon last night attracted peak time viewing figures of over ten million.

According to the official viewing figures compiled by Wimbledon organisers and the BBC, 10.5 million people tuned in to see the British number one complete a fourth-round victory over the French player on Monday evening.

The match was screened live on BBC One before the Six O'Clock News, with viewing figures recorded at around four million.

Murray lost the first two sets and was down a break of serve in the third before beginning a long and dramatic fightback in which he won the final three sets in succession to qualify for the quarter-finals against Rafael Nadal.

At around 20:00 BST, during the crucial third set tiebreak which Murray had to win in order to stay in the match, viewing figures on BBC Two were recorded at around 5.5 million.

The coverage was switched to BBC One after Eastenders had finished at 20:30 BST for the final hour's play in the match, delaying the scheduled programme Criminal Justice.

However, the decision to move the match to the broadcaster's flagship channel produced a peak-time audience of more than ten million - which represented a total audience share of 44.7 per cent.

Paul Davies, the BBC's executive producer at Wimbledon, said: "It's fantastic that such a great sporting event was brought to a wider audience.

"The decision to switch it to BBC One was vindicated by so many viewers watching the climax of the match."


01/07/2008 17:26:44