Related News

Home » Sports » Tennis

Murray wins thriller under new roof

A new layer of mystique was added to Wimbledon's unique charm yesterday when Andy Murray survived a five-set sweat-fest against Stanislas Wawrinka under Centre Court's new roof and long after darkness had descended.

The multi-million pound canopy had been redundant for the first week of the championships, but after it made its competitive debut to allow Dinara Safina to overcome Amelie Mauresmo earlier in the day it provided the perfect backdrop for the tournament's best match so far.

Thousands remained transfixed to the giant screen on Henman Hill -- named after the man who had caused British fans so many nailbiting evenings in the past -- to join the 15,000 fans perched on the edge of their padded seats inside the stunning arena.

They roared Murray to a 2-6 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-3 victory against the inspired Swiss 19th seed who, at times, seemed touched by the magic of his more illustrious compatriot Roger Federer.

Play finally finished at 10.38pm when Murray belted a forehand winner into an open court, sending fans flooding out into the leafy streets of south west London abuzz at the prospect of the Scot ending the nation's 73-year wait for a men's singles champion at the grasscourt slam.

"I was surprised we started under the was dry outside," Murray said when asked about playing indoors.

"It was very heavy and very humid and I was sweating a lot right from the start. I felt like I had been in a bath.

"It kind of slowed it down a lot, and I struggled to serve because it wasn't coming off the strings."

Murray's late night drama trumped a dazzling second yesterday which saw five-times champion Federer, women's holder Venus Williams and sister Serena ease into the last eight.


Federer began the Centre Court programme with temperatures soaring to 31 degrees Celsius but retained his customary cool to beat Sweden's Robin Soderling, the man he overcome to claim an emotional French Open title this month.

"Not many rallies, so maybe not as much fun for the people. But I stayed calm, waited for my chance, and thank God I came up with a good forehand when I had to in the breaker," Federer told reporters after his fourth round clash, one of 16 singles matches completed on a scintillating day of tennis.

Soderling looked set to extend the contest when he led 5-4 with two serves to come in the third set tiebreak, but Federer produced a staggering forehand which produced a resigned smile from his opponent who then double-faulted.

With weather forecasters predicting even higher temperatures in the coming days, the Williams sisters, who have faced each other three times in the women's singles final here, were able to conserve precious energy.

Second seed Serena, beaten in last year's final by Venus, thrashed Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova 6-3 6-1 while Venus was required to play just eight games to get past sobbing Serb Ana Ivanovic, who quit with a thigh injury after little more than half an hour on Court One.


"I think she was in a lot of pain," the 29-year-old Venus, gunning for a hat-trick of singles titles here and her sixth in total, told reporters. "I'm one of those players who only pays attention to what's going on on my side of the net. But today I felt really sad for her actually."

There is a sense of inevitability about another Williams family showdown on Saturday. They simply look unstoppable.

"I'm a control freak," added Venus, who now has Agnieszka Radwanska in her sights after the Pole ended the run of 17-year-old American Melanie Oudin 6-4 7-5. "I love controlling. That's how I was taught to play."

"I don't want to go home. I feel I'm just getting more serious," added Serena, who belted 28 winners on her way to a quarter-final against Belarussian Victoria Azarenka.

Safina, the world number one, reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time where she will play German Sabine Lisicki, entering the record books in the process by becoming the first player to win a match under the Centre Court roof.

"It was an unbelievable atmosphere on the court," said Safina, who returned to court after light rain had prompted closure of the roof to win 4-6 6-3 6-4 against the 2006 champion despite trailing 3-0 in the final set.

Federer, who has his eyes on a record 15th grand slam, may need body armour in the quarter-finals when he meets Croatian ace machine Ivo Karlovic who blew away Fernando Verdasco in four sets to reach his first grand slam quarter-final.

Karlovic sent down 35 aces to take his tally for the tournament to 137.

It was a good day for some of the seasoned campaigners on the men's tour.

Germany's Tommy Haas, the oldest player in the last 16, outwitted Russia's Igor Andreev 7-6 6-4 6-4 to set up a quarter-final against fourth seed Novak Djokovic, who beat Israel's Dudi Sela.

Lleyton Hewitt, who like Haas has fought back from serious injury, produced the comeback of the day.

The 2002 champion looked down and out before hitting back to win 4-6 2-6 6-1 6-2 6-2. He faces a heavyweight clash with Andy Roddick for a semi-final spot after the American's surprisingly straightforward straight-sets removal of Czech Tomas Berdych.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend