Lopez goes distance to set up Murray tie

Feliciano Lopez survived two match points to book himself a place in the quarter-finals and a whole lot of media interest yesterday, for by beating the Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot in an epic match lasting four hours and 18 minutes, the 29-year-old Spaniard now becomes the man Andy Murray must overcome to reach the last four.

The left-handed Lopez was given a much stiffer test by Kubot than he had been by his previous opponent, Andy Roddick, whom he beat in straight sets. Indeed at two sets and a break up the Pole looked by far the likelier winner, which would have been one for the record books following the earlier victory of the Australian teenager Bernard Tomic. Never before in the history of these championships had two qualifiers reached the quarter-final stage.

Lopez, twice a Wimbledon quarter-finalist, eventually ensured with a 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-5 win that the record endured. He must have fancied his chances against a man with a much better record as a doubles player, who was also on a six-match losing streak against lefties, but Kubot gave him a tremendous scare.

Lopez, who remarkably after his energy-sapping match was soon afterwards playing mixed-doubles, should in theory present less of an obstacle for Murray than Richard Gasquet, the Scot's victim yesterday. In four previous meetings, Murray has won every time. Meanwhile, Tomic is the first qualifier in 11 years to reach the last eight. In beating Xavier Malisse 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 he also becomes, at 18 years and 156 days, both the youngest man left in this year's singles draw, and the youngest to reach the quarter-finals since Boris Becker in 1985.

Unlike the little-known Kubot, Tomic is already firmly on the radar. The management group IMG signed him when he was just 13, and junior Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open in 2008, then the US Open the following year, cemented his burgeoning reputation. He also has a reputation for healthy if occasionally jaw-dropping arrogance, declining Lleyton Hewitt's invitation to hit with him at Wimbledon two years ago on the basis that "Lleyton's not good enough".

Nonetheless, Roger Federer, no less, has tipped Tomic as one of three young players likely to make a big impact on the game over the next few years, and Novak Djokovic suggested a few weeks ago that he could be this year's surprise package at Wimbledon. The mighty Serb, a straight-sets winner against Michael Llodra yesterday, will hope that his prescience does not rear up to bite him on the backside; the second seed now plays Tomic for a place in the last four.

Also into the quarter-finals are Mardy Fish, who beat last year's runner-up Tomas Berdych 7-6, 6-4, 6-4, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who overcame David Ferrer 6-3, 6-4, 7-6.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam