Murray joins exclusive club with sprint into semi-finals

Third seed sweeps Ferrero aside to become fourth Briton in 70 years to reach last four

The dream moved closer to reality here last night as Andy Murray took another step towards becoming the first male British winner of the world's most famous tennis tournament for 73 years. Murray swept aside Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero in straight sets and will play Andy Roddick in tomorrow's semi-finals, the winner to meet Roger Federer or Tommy Haas in Sunday's final.

One hundred years after the birth of Fred Perry, the last British man to be champion here, Murray is just two wins away from realising a lifetime's ambition. One more victory would see him become the first Briton since Bunny Austin in 1938 to play in the Wimbledon final and he is already only the fourth home player since the war to reach the last four, following Mike Sangster in 1961, Roger Taylor in 1970 and 1973 and Tim Henman on four occasions between 1998 and 2002.

In beating Ferrero 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 in less than two hours, Murray maintained his record of going one round better every time he has played here. His previous best performance was to reach the quarter-finals last year, when he lost to Rafael Nadal in straight sets. He has already played in one Grand Slam final, having lost to Federer at last year's US Open, and has reached the last eight or better of four of his last five Grand Slam tournaments.

"Since Wimbledon last year, my consistency has been very, very good," he said. "Bar one very poor match at the Olympics, I've not really lost any early matches, not lost to too many guys that I should have won against, and performed well in the Slams."

Murray needed five sets and nearly four hours to dispose of Stanislas Wawrinka in his previous match but finished off Ferrero in an hour and 43 minutes. "If I had had another five- setter it would have been tough to recover from back-to-back five-set matches," Murray said. "But I was only on for about an hour and 45 minutes today, so it's not going to take anything out of me physically. I should be 100 per cent for the next match."

That will be against Roddick, who needed five sets to beat Lleyton Hewitt. Murray has beaten the American in six of their eight matches, including their only meeting at a Grand Slam event, in the third round here in 2006. "Roddick is one of the best servers in the game, so I'll need to return very well," Murray said. "Roddick's made two finals here, has been No 1 in the world and is a Grand Slam champion. It will be a tough match."

Asked whether he felt he might have already peaked here, Murray said: "We'll have to wait and see. You don't know until you get to that stage. If you have to raise your level or if you're way behind in a match or really tight situations, you never know. But I served well in all of the matches where I've needed to, bar the Wawrinka one. If I can keep serving like that I've got a good chance against anyone."

If Murray wins the tournament he will replace Federer as world No 2 and move within five ranking points of Nadal, the No 1. Federer, who will eclipse Pete Sampras's record of 14 Grand Slam titles if he wins, beat Ivo Karlovic in straight sets yesterday, while Haas sprang one of the surprises of the tournament by knocking out Novak Djokovic, the world No 4.

Having received messages of support from the Queen and Sean Connery, Murray said the only one this week had been a hand-written note from Sir Cliff Richard. "It just said: 'Well done for winning the other night, really enjoyed the match and good luck,'" Murray said. "I don't have any of his records, but my mum does."

Semi-final line-up

Andy Murray v Andy Roddick

Roger Federer v Tommy Haas

To be played tomorrow

News
i100
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
Arts and Entertainment
James Dean on the set of 'Rebel without a Cause', 1955
photographyHe brought documentary photojournalism to Tinseltown, and in doing so, changed the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing