Andy Murray reaches quarter-finals at Wimbledon after beating Marin Cilic in straight sets

 

Andy Murray beat the rain and Marin Cilic to book his place in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for a fifth successive year.

The pair had been forced off yesterday with the fourth seed leading 7-5 3-1 and endured more disruption today before Murray clinched a 7-5 6-2 6-3 victory under leaden skies on Court One.

The Scot had looked nervy at the start yesterday but was much more fluent today and moved smoothly through to a last-eight meeting with Juan Martin del Potro or David Ferrer.

Murray's absence from Centre Court had caused some controversy yesterday but the 25-year-old did not feel he had been unfairly treated.

He said: "I don't care which court I play on. It makes no difference. Any player would rather play on Centre because it's got the roof so you'll get your match in.

"But I don't deserve to play every match on Centre, I just wish the weather was a bit better. I think I'll probably play on Centre."

The players returned to Court One as scheduled at midday but it began to spit with rain just as umpire Carlos Bernardes called time.

There was a brief delay before it was decided they could begin, and Murray needed only one point to move into a 4-1 lead.

Cilic then held serve before Bernardes decided the rain was too persistent and they went off court again after barely five minutes of play and only six points.

The rain did not last long but there were plenty of showers around and it was not until 1.05pm that the players returned to court.

It began to spit again as they warmed up but there were no further delays and Murray easily held his serve to love to move 5-2 in front.

The Scot looked confident and was hitting much more freely than yesterday, and a combination of backhand and forehand winners took him to set point on the Cilic serve.

With the rain falling again he took it with another backhand return right at the feet of Cilic that the Croatian could only paddle into the net.

The world number four lost his concentration a touch at the start of the third set and four times found himself break point down, but each time a big serve got him out of trouble and he held on.

It was raining increasingly heavily and the players had an extended sit in their chairs at the change of ends, but they did not leave the court and were soon under way again.

Murray was so confident he finished the third game with a second serve ace and then promptly broke again, a running forehand pass banging another nail in Cilic's coffin.

Cilic, the 16th seed, had gone into the clash on an eight-match winning streak on grass after lifting the AEGON Championships trophy at Queen's Club but he looked to have little appetite for a fightback.

He did save four break points in the sixth game to deny Murray a 5-1 lead, but it was only a temporary reprieve and the Scot clinched an impressive victory after two hours and 10 minutes when Cilic netted a backhand.

Murray has now reached at least the quarter-finals at seven successive grand slams, and tomorrow he will play Ferrer after the Spanish seventh seed defeated Del Potro in straight sets.

The pair have met 10 times, winning five each, although four of Ferrer's victories have come on clay, including one at the quarter-final stage of the French Open four weeks ago.

They have never played on grass before, and Ferrer is enjoying his best season on the surface, winning the warm-up tournament in 's-Hertogenbosch and now reaching the last eight at Wimbledon for the first time.

AP

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