Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

Pressure grows as Murray reaches quarterfinals without dropping a set

Andy Murray is bidding to become the first British winner of the men's singles at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.

Story highlights

  • Second seed Andy Murray beats Russia's Mikhail Youzhny in straight set to reach last 16
  • Briton will play Spain's Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals
  • Historic clash set to deliver first Polish male grand slam semifinalist
  • Novak Djokovic beats Tommy Haas to set up quarterfinal against Tomas Berdych

The feat has not been achieved since 1936 but with every victory, the pressure on Andy Murray to deliver a first British winner of the men's singles at Wimbledon since Fred Perry grows.

The expectation is always there for any leading British player but with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer having unexpectedly dropped out of his section of the draw, Murray is fancied like never before to finally rewrite history.

The beaten finalist in 2012, the 26-year-old survived a second set scare to beat Russian 20th seed Mikhail Youzhny 6-4 7-5 (7-5) 6-1 and reach the quarterfinals for the sixth straight year.

Read: Murray - the man behind the mask

The second seed will meet the unseeded Fernando Verdasco for a place in the semifinals, with the Scot boasting an 8-1 winning record against the Spaniard, who beat Kenny de Schepper in straight sets.

"It was a tough match," U.S. Open and Olympic champion Murray said later. "The first couple of sets especially -- and he also had a chance at the start of the third.

"But once I got ahead in the third set, I concentrated really hard not to let him back into the match like I did in the second set."

The turning point of a contest that lasted two hours and 37 minutes came in the second set when Murray managed to turn around a 2-5 deficit to win on a tie break.

Murray inspired by friend's cancer fight

    Just Watched

    Murray inspired by friend's cancer fight

Murray inspired by friend's cancer fight 05:01
PLAY VIDEO
Ivan Lendl on managing Andy Murray

    Just Watched

    Ivan Lendl on managing Andy Murray

Ivan Lendl on managing Andy Murray 00:57
PLAY VIDEO
Pat Cash's Wimbledon tour

    Just Watched

    Pat Cash's Wimbledon tour

Pat Cash's Wimbledon tour 02:24
PLAY VIDEO
The Wimbledon greats

    Just Watched

    The Wimbledon greats

The Wimbledon greats 06:14
PLAY VIDEO
Wimbledon's wild card returns home

    Just Watched

    Wimbledon's wild card returns home

Wimbledon's wild card returns home 03:21
PLAY VIDEO

Youzhny needed treatment on a shoulder injury early in the third set and faded soon after, so allowing the British number one to reach the last eight without dropping a set.

"I just have to concentrate on the next match," he said when asked about the pressure of being the home favorite.

Read: Lisicki dethrones Serena at Wimbledon

"Serena Williams lost today and she doesn't lose particularly often," he explained. "Roger lost, Rafa lost -- all these guys and girls are better than me and if they can lose, so can I."

Should Murray come through his quarterfinal, he will meet either Jerzy Janowicz or Lukasz Kubot in the last four -- with one of the Polish duo set to create history.

Whoever wins their clash will become the first Pole to reach the semifinals of a men's grand slam.

The Radwanska sisters may have put Polish tennis on the map in recent years but they have long been hoping that they will be joined by their male compatriots.

Read: The sisterly love that drives the Radwanskas

Without a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon since 1980, two came along on the same day as 24th seed Janowicz, 22, beat Austria's Jurgen Melzer in five sets while the unseeded Kubot was also taken all the way when beating Adrian Mannarino.

Despite the significance of their forthcoming encounter, Janowicz and Kubot, 31, hugged one another as soon as they met in the locker room after their respective wins.

"It's unbelievable what is going on right now," the big-serving Janowicz told reporters. "We have two players in the quarterfinals in the men's draw.

"Right now, tennis is a really famous sport in our country. I hope we'll get more fans."

Read: Rafael Nadal stunned at Wimbledon again

Kubot's passage to the quarterfinals was first eased by the shock defeat of Rafael Nadal in the opening round and then further helped as the Spaniard's conqueror Steve Darcis was forced to pull out of his second round meeting with the Pole through injury.

In the top half of the draw, David Ferrer -- who lost his first grand slam final against compatriot Nadal at the French Open last month -- reached his second straight Wimbledon quarterfinal when beating Croatia's Ivan Dodig 6-7 7-6 6-1 6-1.

"I'm trying to play more aggressive," said Ferrer, who has never progressed to the last four at Wimbledon. "I need to serve better than other courts, obviously when I am playing the second shot. Every match I am playing better with my game. I am confident."

Next up for the consistent Spaniard, who will rise to a career-high world No. 3 in next week's rankings, is Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro, who beat 23rd seed Andreas Seppi in straight sets.

"He's a very great player," said Ferrer. "It's going to be difficult. I need to play my best tennis to beat Del Potro. And on a grass court I think it is more difficult. He plays better than me on grass. Last year I beat him, but I think I played my best match on a grass court."

Whoever wins through will meet either Novak Djokovic, who beat Tommy Haas in straight sets late on Monday, or Tomas Berdych, who sunk Bernard Tomic 7-6 6-7 6-4 6-4, in the last four.

      Tennis

    • Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.

      Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
    • LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and his long time girlfriend Kim Sears arrive at Buckingham Palace on October 17, in London, England. Murray will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and receive his medal from the Duke of Cambridge. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

      The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
    • Despite being forced to retire at the age of 24 due to health problems, Lacoste remained in the game and went on start the "Lacoste" brand in 1933, which specialised in tennis products. The inspiration for the company's logo came from his nickname as a player, "le crocodile."

      His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
    • Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

      Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
    • American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.

      Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
    • "I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
    • LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Tennis / Frauen: Wimbledon 2004, London; Finale; Siegerin Maria SHARAPOVA / RUS 03.07.04. (Photo by Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

      It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
    • Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.