Murray focusing on Ferrer, not the beckoning final

 

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray is within two victories of becoming the first British man to play in a Wimbledon singles final for 74 years and has no higher-ranked players left in his half of the draw, but the 25-year-old Scot refused last night to look beyond his next match. Having completed an emphatic 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Marin Cilic, Murray faces David Ferrer in today's quarter-finals on Centre Court.

"It's so far away," Murray said when asked what it would mean to lift the trophy on Sunday. "I'm playing against the No 5 player in the world in my next match and I lost against him a few weeks ago at the French Open."

Murray, through to the quarters for the fifth year in a row (a record bettered currently only by Roger Federer's 10-year run), believes that Ferrer – who has won all four of his meetings with Murray on clay – has never played better than this year. In his last six events the 30-year-old Spaniard has lost only to Federer and Rafael Nadal. Ferrer won his first grass-court title in the Netherlands last month and made the quarters here for the first time in 10 attempts by beating Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 yesterday.

With Nadal, who has beaten Murray in the semi-finals for the last two years, out, the prize for today's winner will be a meeting in the last four with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (the world No 6) or Philipp Kohlschreiber (the world No 30).

Earlier Murray had defied the drizzle on Court One – there were two rain breaks to add to the previous day's interruptions – to dispatch Cilic. The Scot had fallen several times against Marcos Baghdatis on Saturday, but here his footwork and movement were exceptional.

Murray's serve was even more impressive. He hit 16 aces at speeds of up to 134mph and maintained his record as the player in the tournament who has won the highest percentage of points on second serve.

Even Murray's coach, stone-faced Ivan Lendl, applauded when a superb backhand set up break point in the second set, which the Scot converted. Cilic upped his game in the third, but Murray broke to lead 3-1 with a wonderful running forehand pass and then served out for victory.

He later refused to criticise All England Club officials for not favouring him in their scheduling. "I don't think you should get preferential treatment," he said. "I don't deserve to play all my matches on Centre Court. Someone like Roger does."

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