Andy Murray’s patience was tested as he beat Croatia’s Marin Cilic in three sets over two days at Wimbledon to advance to the quarterfinals. Four-time women’s champion Serena Williams defeated title-holder Petra Kvitova.
Murray got past the No. 16 seed from Croatia 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 on No. 1 Court, which doesn’t have a roof. Play on the outside courts at the tennis Grand Slam tournament in London was halted several times yesterday because of rain.
“It’s not easy,” Murray, who will face David Ferrer in the last eight today, told reporters. “In matches you kind of can build momentum and build leads, and then when you stop, once you come back out again, you feel like you’re starting off from square one. I came up with some big serves.”
Murray, who was 7-5, 3-1 up when rain halted the fourth-round match two days ago, produced 16 aces, four times more than his opponent. The No. 4 seed from Britain wasn’t happy that play was again suspended yesterday for one hour after both players had won a game in the drizzle.
“Who suspended it?” he asked the umpire, before being rushed off the court after 15 minutes of play.
Murray’s main rivals for the title, six-time winner Roger Federer of Switzerland and defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia, had yesterday off after both played their fourth-round matches under Centre Court’s retractable roof.
Federer opens men’s quarterfinal action on the main arena today against 26th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia before Murray faces Ferrer, the No. 7 seed from Spain. Djokovic plays Florian Mayer, the No. 31 seed from Germany, on No. 1 Court, followed by fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France against Philipp Kohlschreiber, the No. 27 seed from Germany.
Until the fourth round, all of Murray’s matches had been played on Centre Court as he tries to end Britain’s 76-year Grand Slam singles title drought in the men’s game.
“Honestly, I don’t care which court I play on,” Murray said after beating Cilic with 35 winners. “It makes no difference, but every player would like to play on Centre Court because it has got a roof.”
The last British man to win one of the sport’s four major titles was Fred Perry, who captured the U.S. National Championships in 1936 and also won Wimbledon the same year. Murray has lost all three major finals he’s played, most recently at the 2011 Australian Open to Djokovic.
On Centre Court yesterday, the roof opened shortly before the noon start time, only for the covers to come on and the roof to shut as rain started a few minutes later.
Ferrer then beat former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in a match that had been postponed from the previous day. Ferrer and Murray are tied 5-5 in career meetings, with the Spaniard having won the past two, including a quarterfinal victory at last month’s French Open.
“It’s very difficult to beat Andy in all surfaces, but on grass court is more difficult,” Ferrer told reporters. “Maybe he has more pressure than me.”
Tenth-seeded Mardy Fish and qualifier Brian Baker, the last two American men in the singles draw, lost yesterday. Tsonga beat Fish 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-4, while Baker lost 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 to Kohlschreiber.
Mayer defeated 18th-seeded Richard Gasquet of France 6-3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 in a match that was also played over two days.
Women’s No. 6 seed Williams defeated Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-5 under the roof to set up a semifinal tomorrow against Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who beat Austria’s Tamira Paszek 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) in a match that moved from No. 1 to Centre Court.
“She’s playing unbelievable,” Williams said of the second-seeded Azarenka. “She’s played so well this year. Already having a Grand Slam under her belt is really great.”
In the top half of the women’s draw, No. 8 seed Angelique Kerber defeated fellow German Sabine Lisicki 6-3, 6-7 (7-9), 7-5 to reach the final four at Wimbledon for the first time.
Kerber, who squandered three match points in the second set, will play Agnieszka Radwanska for a place in the final after the No. 3 seed from Poland defeated Russia’s Maria Kirilenko 7-5, 4-6, 7-5. The match was completed on Centre Court following repeated rain breaks on No. 1 Court.
“The day for me was like 40 hours,” Radwanska said after reaching her first Grand Slam semifinal. “It was raining and windy outside, then at the end we played under the roof. It’s much better to finish it in the same day than to wait another day.”