Wimbledon 2013: Anticipation builds on Murray Mound as Andy prepares to take on Fernando Verdasco

The last remaining Brit is playing for a place in the semi-finals

Despite the dark clouds hanging over Wimbledon this morning, space was already at a premium on ‘Murray Mound’, as the crowds were out in force to cheer-on Britain’s last remaining hopeful in his bid to secure a place in the semi-finals.

Just a few metres away, Andy Murray looked relaxed as The Independent watched on as the British number 1 began practicing on the warm-up courts with former British player Greg Rusedski. Rusedski later came off the court, drenched in sweat remarking 'glad I retired…' as Murray's 100mph+ serves continued to land unnervingly close to where I was standing.

Murray's opponent, in today's fourth-round tie, Spain's Fernando Verdasco, was also warming-up just a few courts away.

After he had finished, the Scotsman left the court alone via a back entrance to avoid the hordes of cameras and reporters the anticipation was building in the rest of the grounds, and a small patch of blue sky began to break through the clouds.

Back on Murray Mound which was now almost full, Diana Davis from north London and friend Joyce Boorman from Woodbridge in Suffolk, were confident about Murray, but not so much about the weather holding out. "My forecast said 40 per cent chance of rain," said Ms Davis who had tickets to Court One and so would not see Murray's match on Centre Court.

"But we're here because you've got to be patriotic haven't you," said Ms Boorman. "We've got to be behind him [Murray]."

Diane Drake, 69, and Mandy Pye, 59, both from Basingstoke, arrived in SW19 on Sunday afternoon to join the queue for tickets for today's match.

"We heard it was really busy this year so we thought we would get here early," Mrs Drake said. "The atmosphere has been fantastic and we are very much looking forward to seeing some good tennis."

Douglas Low, 31, a company director from Preston, joined the line at 10.30am on Sunday.

"We really wanted to get Centre Court tickets and also hoped to see Murray - we have grown to like him over the years and now people are really getting behind him," he said. "We realised there was a good chance he would get through to the quarter-finals. It has certainly been worth queueing."

Murray's famous fans were also out in force, with an all-star cast in the royal box, including former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson who was in New York last September to congratulate Murray on his maiden grand slam at the US Open. England football manager Roy Hodgson, comedian Michael McIntyre and former Australian tennis-great, Rod Laver were also due in the royal box.

And of course, Murray's mother Judy, who has previously declared herself an admirer of his opponent, will be there to watch.

She once wrote of her delight after finding herself standing behind Verdasco, while waiting for accreditation ahead of a tournament in Monte Carlo: "Not the worst queue I've ever been in," she joked.

One well-wisher whose sentiments were not as warmly received however, were those of the Prime Minister David Cameron who earlier Tweeted in support of Andy Murray.

Ignoring the tongue-in-cheek 'Curse of Cameron' jibes, on this heavily superstitious occasion, the PM, who has gained a reputation for jinxing British sports stars, wrote: "The sky over Downing St a little grey right now. Let's hope it clears up for @Andy-Murray to win at Wimbledon. Best of luck Andy."

The trend began when he was in opposition and hit a peak last summer when he saw Murray lose in the Wimbledon final and showed up at Olympic events at which UK medal hopes lost.

Britain's top female player, 19-year-old Laura Robson, was knocked out of the fourth round of Wimbledon Monday after Cameron tweeted from Kazakhstan, saying "best wishes to @laurarobson5. 1st Brit woman in 4th round Wimbledon for ages".

Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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.

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions