ANDY MURRAY is through to the quarter-finals here for the fourth year in succession but the Scot insisted last night that he needs to keep improving if he is to end Britain’s 75-year wait for a male Wimbledon champion. After beating Richard Gasquet 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 with one of his most convincing victories at the All England Club, Murray now faces Spain’s Feliciano Lopez tomorrow.
“I’m sure it will be a match that a lot of people will be expecting me to win, but I know it’s going to be very difficult,” Murray said. “It’s the quarter-finals of a Slam. I’ve just got to be ready for the next one.”
He added: “I played well today. I felt like the last match, I [also] played well. In the first two rounds I could have been better, but you need to just try and keep improving with each match. It’s when you go behind in matches, when you’re pushed, that it’s important to up your game and play your best tennis.
“I’m sure I’ll get challenged a lot in the next round. I’ve just got to be ready for it.”
Murray played his best tennis of the tournament so far to beat Gasquet. The Scot took time to adjust to the hot and steamy conditions, having played both his previous Centre Court matches under the retractable roof, but eventually dominated the match.
“The second and third sets were much better,” Murray said. “In the first set I returned poorly, so I wasn’t able to get into any of his service games at all. I had no break points in the first set, but managed to string a few good points together in the tie-break.
“There’s not been anything I’ve been really unhappy with. I haven’t got broken too many times. The return is normally one of the stronger parts of my game. If I can keep returning well, keep serving like I have been, I give myself a chance in a lot of matches.”
Gasquet admitted he had been second best. “He served very well, especially in the second set,” the Frenchman said. “I tried to keep my serve, but he played well. He does everything. He has a great backhand, a good forehand, he runs a lot and he’s clever on the court.”
Lopez, a big-serving left-hander, reached his third Wimbledon quarter-final by coming back from two sets down to beat Poland’s Lukasz Kubot 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-5. The 29-year-old is ranked No 44 in the world but has had an excellent tournament, having knocked out Andy Roddick in the third round. Judy, Murray’s mother, might hardly know where to look tomorrow as she has made no secret of her admiration for the good-looking Spaniard, who is nicknamed “Deliciano”.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watched the match from the Royal Box and met the world No 4 afterwards. Murray said he would have shaved had he known they would be coming. Asked if he would like a razor-blade sponsorship deal, Murray replied: “I wouldn’t have the discipline. I think all the Gillette athletes have to shave every day. I think they have to be clean-shaven. I probably wouldn’t be able to keep that up.”
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