Ward stuns Querrey

London cabbie's son Ward, ranked 216 in the world and trained by an Argentine cage fighter, returned to court level at one-set all against the American after bad light interrupted the match on Thursday and showed nerves of steel, breaking serve in the seventh game of the decider to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

With rain clouds still threatening to disrupt the programme the 24-year-old Ward, who knocked out fourth seed Stanislas Wawrinka in the second round, is due back on court later to face Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

There was further good news for British players, if not the fans who had bought tickets, when second seed Andy Murray was given a walkover into the semifinals after Croatian opponent Marin Cilic withdrew because of an ankle injury.

World number one Rafael Nadal will aim for a semifinal spot later when he plays French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga while Andy Roddick, bidding for a record fifth title at the west London tournament, is up against Spain's Fernando Verdasco.

Nadal suffered a late blip against unseeded Czech Radek Stepanek before reaching the quarterfinals on Thursday.

The world number one, fresh from his record-equalling sixth French Open title, looked in total command against Stepanek as he served for the match in the second set but a rare collapse kept the Spaniard on court for longer than he wanted before he walked off with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 victory.

"For sure, I'm a bit tired," Nadal said on court before hurrying off to play doubles with partner Marc Lopez. "5-2, 5-3, 40-15 he played well. I made a few mistakes and you know that's the turning point. The beginning of the third was tough but after that I think I played my best. Much better than yesterday."

Second seed Murray, who will spend the next few weeks shouldering Britain's hopes of a first men's Grand Slam champion since 1936, beat flashy Serb Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 7-6 despite losing his service at the start of each set.

While Roddick cruised past towering South African Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4, Verdasco was a 7-5, 6-1 winner against David Nalbandian.

Another Argentine to fall was Juan Martin del Potro, who was bundled out in two tie-breaks by Frenchman Mannarino. Cilic made it a bad day for South Americans as he ousted Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci 7-6, 0-6, 6-3.

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