Ruthless Murray progresses to Wimbledon quarter-finals

01 July 2013 / 18:13

Andy Murray survived his most demanding examination yet but is still to drop a set at this year's Wimbledon.

Murray was tested by Russian fourth round rival Mikhail Youzhny, particularly after going 5-2 down in the second set, but rallied to advance 6-4, 7-6, 6-1.

It's the sixth year in succession that the second seed has reached the last eight here - and it's a ninth consecutive appearance in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam tournament, to underline his consistency at this level.

"It was a tough match in the first couple of sets but once I got ahead in the third set I just was determined not to let him back in," said Murray.

"I take nothing for granted, I know how hard these tournaments are to win and do well in.

"There is no guarantees here, I've only won one Grand Slam and it just gets harder."

Youzhny, who pushed Roger Federer the distance in the recent grass court tournament in Halle, is renowned as one of the volatile characters in tennis, famously smashing a racquet into his own face in frustration.

But it was Murray who stayed cool under fire, even when his rival started to impose himself.

It's impossible to progress through seven rounds of a Grand Slam without the occasional lull or lapse in concentration but the measure of Murray is how he responded when the pressure was on.

After a regulation opener, the British number one went down 5-2 in the second set but rebounded to force a tie-break, which he won with a thudding cross court forehand that reverberated around Centre Court.

Youzhny seemed broken by his failure to convert from such a strong position, calling the trainer to the court to treat a shoulder problem and losing his first third set service game to love.

Murray's first serve was now inflicting heavy damage - he banged down 15 aces in his best service performance yet - while he mixed up his shot selection, punctuating play with precision lobs and delicate drops.

Murray will now take on Spain's Fernando Verdasco in the quarter-finals, after he swotted aside French rival Kenny De Schepper in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

Left-hander Verdasco, a former top ten player who has fallen outside the world's top 50, is a first time quarter-finalist at the All England Club.

The pair have played nine times and Murray has lost just once - in their last Grand Slam encounter at the 2009 Australian Open, when Verdasco progressed in five sets.

"You reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, you expect to play a very, very top player," said Verdasco.

"I'm just happy to be here and how I've played the entire tournament. It's a special match because it's against Murray at Wimbledon but I'm going to play my game but it will be tough.

"He's a great player, one of the very best on the tour and it will be hard to beat him, especially with the crowd. But you need to have faith."

© Sportsbeat 2013