Andy Murray did not want to hear it. He did not want to hear about how his draw got so much easier when Rafael Nadal,Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were eliminated. He did not want to hear about how he was never going to have a better chance to win Wimbledon. And he certainly did not want to hear about how lucky he was to have unseeded Fernando Verdasco as his quarterfinal opponent.
Verdasco is a very,very good tennis player, Andy Murray said Monday. Very good at tennis. Hes playing very well this week. Hes extremely dangerous when hes on his game. Yeah,thats it. I mean,Verdascos a very good tennis player.
If the fans and the news media did not get it then,they certainly did by the time Andy Murray had lost the first two sets of their quarterfinal match Wednesday afternoon.
But after scolding himself with a What are you doing? after the second set,Murray rallied to the delight of the packed Centre Court and the masses on Murray Mount,where there was hardly a patch of grass left to sit on.
With their favorite down,the crowd could not contain itself at times,yelling,Come on,Andy! in the middle of points and repeatedly being admonished by the chair umpire.
Andy Murray said he made poor choices in the second set,but won the third easily,then saved four break points in the fourth. He broke Verdasco in the eighth game and then served out the set.
The fifth was an on-serve duel until the 11th game,when Murray earned the break and then held at love to win the match,4-6,3-6,6-1,6-4,7-5.
Verdasco was ranked as high as seventh in 2009. But now,at 29,he is 54th,the ninth ranked player in Spain. He had never advanced past the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Up next,a 69 Pole
Murray will next play the No. 24 seed,Jerzy Janowicz,who is having his breakthrough moment at this tournament. A 22-year-old from Poland,Janowicz advanced to his first Grand Slam semifinal by defeating his countryman Lukasz Kubot,7-5,6-4,6-4.
The last time Janowicz and Murray played,in the fourth round of the Paris Masters,Janowicz won.
Like Murray,Juan Martín del Potro and Novak Djokovic had not lost a set in the tournament going into their quarterfinal matches. On the scoreboard,their straight-sets victories might have looked routine.
But that is only if you did not see del Potro lying on the court near tears in the first game,his injured left knee being inspected by a doctor when another fall left him close to retiring from the match.
It was only routine if you did not see Djokovics frustration in the first set against Tomas Berdych,or if you did not see Djokovic down by two breaks in the second.
Del Potro and Djokovic will meet in the semifinals Friday,but their experiences getting there could hardly have been more different.
After defeating the seventh-seeded Berdych,7-6 (5),6-4,6-3,the top-ranked Djokovic is in his 13th consecutive Grand Slam semifinal,and is in the Wimbledon semifinals for the fourth straight year.
After beating fourth-seeded David Ferrer,6-2,6-4,7-6 (5),the No. 8 del Potro is in the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time,advancing with a heavily …continued »