Murray escapes to victory

Tennis Wimbledon: Briton rallies from two sets down to oust Verdasco; Djokovic, del Potro in semis

Murray escapes to victory

Andy Murray put the home fans through the wringer as he came back from two sets down to book a place in the Wimbledon semi-finals with an edgy 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 win over unseeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday.

Murray's hopes of ending Britain's 77-year wait for a men's Wimbledon champion were on the verge of being shredded as he found himself playing catch-up while looking jaded and uncomfortable on court.

The 54th-ranked Verdasco put pressure on Murray's vulnerable second serve and came up with a series of rasping winners to force the U.S. Open champion deeper behind the baseline.
Yet with the match slipping out of his grasp, Murray muscled his way back into the encounter, taking the third and fourth sets as Verdasco's level dropped and then grabbed a decisive break in the 11th game of the fifth.

He wrapped up the match after three hours and 27 minutes when Verdasco sent a forehand long.

Del Potro tames Ferrer

Argentine Juan Martin del Potro recovered from a horrible early fall to overpower David Ferrer 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) and reach the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time.

The towering eighth seed said he had been on the verge of pulling out when he injured his already-bandaged left knee after skidding on the fifth point of the match and crashing down in a heap.

But after lengthy treatment and a pain-killing pill the 24-year-old former US Open champion returned to the court to produce one of the best displays of his career.

Using his condor-like wingspan to make up for any lack of movement, Del Potro unfolded his right arm to deliver a barrage of mighty serves and thumping forehands.

His forehand was unplayable at times and it was fitting that he finally broke the dogged resistance of fourth seed Ferrer with his 22nd clean winner from that flank.

Novak Djokovic showcased his full catalogue of acrobatic skills and on-court nous as he broke down the defences of Czech Tomas Berdych to reach his 13th successive Grand Slam semifinal with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-3 win.

The Serbian World No 1 performed the splits and pulled off lunging volleys as Berdych tried to throw him off balance by bombarding the 2011 champion’s half of the court with an onslaught of winners.

However, Djokovic kept his wits about him even when he trailed by two breaks and was 3-0 down in the second set. Berdych surrendered the set when he slapped an easy forehand into the net and from then there was only one winner.

Djokovic sealed the win when the Czech seventh seed smacked a forehand into the net and he will meet Del Potro for a place in Sunday's final.

“It was the same thing as my third-round match,” Del Potro, who injured his knee when falling on Saturday against Grega Zemlja, told the BBC.

“I was very close (to pulling out) because I felt a lot of pain in the beginning of the match, it was exactly the same like I did before. I twisted my knee once again and the doctor gave me some magic pills and I could finish the match.”

Del Potro’s medical team will work overtime to patch him up for a semifinal against Djokovic on Friday. “I think it’s going to be dangerous if I'm not careful in the next few days,” he said.
All eyes were on Del Potro’s movement in the opening few games and he looked far from mobile as Ferrer tried to stretch him wide, particularly on the backhand side.

Forced to take the initiative to avoid getting the runaround by the relentless Ferrer, who will become World No 3 on Monday, Del Potro began unleashing thunderous forehands to leave the Spaniard floundering.

Results

Quarterfinals: Men’s singles: 2-Andy Murray (Bri) bt Fernando Verdasco (Esp) 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5; 24-Jerzy Janowicz (Pol) bt Lukasz Kubot (Pol) 7-5, 6-4, 6-4; 1-Novak Djokovic (Srb) bt 7-Tomas Berdych (Cze) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-3; 8-Juan Martin Del Potro (Arg) bt 4-David Ferrer (Esp) 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

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