Indyplus updates: Wimbledon 2013 - Day 9

 

Today sees the men's quarter-finals take place and the matches are the following: Ferrer v Del Potro, Murray v Verdasco, Djokovic v Berdych, Kubot v Janowicz.

Read below our latest updates, match reports and Andy Murray's live blog:

Andy Murray battles from two sets down to beat Fernando Verdasco and reach semi-finals

The British number one will now play Jerzy Janowicz of Poland for a place in the final

Andy Murray is through to his fifth successive Wimbledon semi-final but the Scot stretched his supporters’ nerves to the limit before securing a thrilling comeback victory over Spain’s Fernando Verdasco here today.

Having won his first four matches without dropping a set, Murray had been the clear favourite to beat the world No 54, but almost paid the price for a cautious start, in which Verdasco hit his forehands with enormous power. Murray, however, never knows when he is beaten and launched a typically spirited fightback reminiscent of his back-from-the-dead victory over Richard Gasquet on the same Centre Court five years ago. In Friday’s semi-finals Murray will take on Jerzy Janowicz, who beat his fellow Pole, Lukasz Kubot, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.

Although he played cautiously in the opening stages, Murray did not appear to be in any trouble until the last two points of the first set. However, when the Scot served at 4-5 and 30-30 Verdasco created set point with a superb inside-out forehand winner, upon which Murray double-faulted.

The Scot looked furious with himself at the changeover and came out in a much more aggressive mood at the start of the second set. However, after breaking to lead 2-1, Murray dropped his own serve three games later. From 15-30 the world No 2 put a routine volley in the net and then hit a careless forehand beyond the baseline, upon which he slammed a ball away in anger.

Verdasco broke again when his backhand clipped the top of the net and cruelly toppled over on to Murray’s side of the court and the Spaniard went on to serve out for the set, winning five points from 0-40 down.

Once again Murray sat on his chair between sets screaming in anguish. However, his response was excellent. Playing further up the court, the Scot played a more attacking game, denying Verdasco the time to hit his forehands, and broke serve in the second and sixth games before serving out for the set.

The momentum seemed to be with Murray, but the fourth set was much tighter as the Scot retreated back behind the baseline. He saved break points in the second and fourth games before making the only break of the set to lead 4-3. Three games later he served out for the set to take the match into a deciding shoot-out.

The deciding set was tight, but at 5-5 Verdasco’s resistance finally crumbled, Murray breaking for the last time as the 29-year-old Spaniard hit a forehand long. Murray served out for victory after nearly three and a half hours when Verdasco hit a backhand long.

----

Novak Djokovic continues serene progress with straight sets win over Tomas Berdych

The Serbian will play Juan Martin del Potro for a place in the final

The point of victory arrived almost simultaneously, Novak Djokovic waving to the crowd on no.1 Court just as Martin Del Potro was lying prone on Centre in celebration after beating David Ferrer. It will take something of that order of brilliance from Del Potro to stop the Djoko juggernaut in the semis after another compelling demonstration of the tennis arts against Tomas Berdych.

For a set at least this match was tight as a drum. The first was decided in the coconut shy of tie-break combat. Berdych achieved the first mini break to lead 4-3, but surrendered it immediately. At 5-6 he was serving to save the set and failed, bringing Manchester United footballer, Nemanja Vidic, to his feet to applaud the fist-pumping Djokovic below.

The pair had met only once previously, but when a ‘brother’ is in action, a Serb must answer the call. Vidic had been seated in the Royal Box on Centre Court, but deserted his old boss Sir Alex Ferguson to dash across the main concourse when he realised his compatriot was starring on Court No.1.

That’s loyalty for you. Berdych responded by breaking Djokovic in the first game of the second set. He would break again in the third game to take a 3-0 lead, the platform you might think to strike out for the high ground, the territory occupied by Djokovic.

There is a reason why Djokovic and his ilk are breed apart, and that was made immediately apparent with a quite ruthless transformation. Djokovic went up half a dozen gears and in the time it took for a pot of tea to brew was 4-3 in front. Berdych didn’t know what was happening or where he was. He had no means with which to respond. Djokovic cleaned up the set.

His opponent’s soul in bits all over the court, the third set was a routine affair, Djokovic booking his place in the semi-finals with a 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 win. “It was a strong start from me today,” he said. “The tie break was decided by one mistake he made at 6-5. It could have gone either way. He was a double break up in the second, so he could easily have been two sets up. I don’t know how I turned it around.”

Here’s how, in his own words. “I have the right commitment. I have been dedicated to go far in this tournament, playing some of my best tennis on grass. I have won this tournament before (2011) and want to win it again.”

And all this in front of the grand Vidic. “I was glad he called to come. I have met him only once. He is a great champion. We are very proud of his achievements in football. He came with his wife and I was pleased to see him up there.”

----

Juan Martin del Potro recovers from fall to crush David Ferrer in quarter-final match

Argentine will meet Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals

This extraordinary Wimbledon came up with yet another remarkable match on Centre Court when  Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro recovered from having crashed onto his already strapped knee in the very first game to defeat the number four seed David Ferrer 6-2, 6-4, 7-6.

The consensus was that if he got as far as the end of the first set and lost it, he would quit on his chair. Instead, and heroically, he won it 6-2, added the second and then continued serving brilliantly to earn a tie-break and take it with a glorious forehand down the line.

"The knee is not good," Del Potro had said even before the match, having injured it in taking a fall in beating Andreas Seppi on Monday. It became far worse when his left foot gave way on only the fifth point of the match. The bigger they are, the harder they fall and it is a long way down for the 6ft 6in South American. There followed a long timeout for treatment, Del Potro taking painkillers, which must soon have kicked in as his movement slowly became less restricted.

Ferrer might have been expected to bring his man forward more with drop shots but tried instead moving him around from the baseline and found shots booming back at him. So did the formidable serve of a man nine inches taller, and astonishingly the Argentine was able to break not once but twice in the first set, serving out for 6-2.

The Spaniard's unexpected edginess was reflected when he managed to put his shirt on inside out at the changeover. He began serving more consistently but was then broken by Del Potro's fierce hitting for 4-5 and another set had gone.

With his confidence as well as his knee improving, Del Potro continued serving superbly at up to 129mph. During the tie-break it seemed that weapon might be losing its power at last but after dropping three successive points on it he came through to his first Wimbledon semi-final, where he will play Novak Djokovic.

Comments