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Verdasco Dismisses Gulbis; Youzhny Sets Murray Clash

Wimbledon, England

Youzhny© Getty ImagesMikhail Youzhny is bidding to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second year in a row.

Fernando Verdasco matched his best Wimbledon result when he reached the last 16 for the fourth time on Saturday, dismissing Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 at The Championships. The Spaniard is bidding to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final in three years and goes on to face Kenny De Schepper.

Verdasco hit just seven unforced errors in a polished performance against Gulbis. The left-hander hit 29 winners and converted four of his seven break points to prevail in one hour and 45 minutes. The 29-year-old Verdasco will play De Schepper for the first time on Monday.

"I felt so good the whole match," said Verdasco. "From the beginning of the match I took advantage in the score pretty fast. I just felt pretty calm and confident. I was playing good and feeling the ball good the whole match. 

"If you tell me before the match that it was going to be like this, the score, it was hard to say. Because he's a great player. He's having a great year. I was expecting a very difficult match, like maybe going to four or five sets."

De Schepper sprung an upset as he knocked out No. 22 seed Juan Monaco 6-4, 7-6(8), 6-4 on Court 12. Monaco held two set points in the second set tie-break, but could not convert them. The 26-year-old De Schepper, currently a career-high World No. 80 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, was beaten by World No. 442 Kyle Edmund in the first round at Eastbourne last week, but has found his form to reach the fourth round of a major for the first time in his career. 

World No. 26 Mikhail Youzhny is one win away from reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second year in a row after defeating Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 in just over two hours. The Russian was beaten by Roger Federer in the last eight in 2012 and will contest the fourth round at SW19 for the eighth time.

The 31-year-old Youzhny will have his work cut out for him when he takes on World No. 2 and last year’s runner-up Andy Murray on Monday. The right-hander has lost to the Scot twice before, but did record his 28th Top 10 win (28-70 record) two weeks ago en route to the Halle final, knocking out No. 9-ranked Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals before losing to Federer.  

"It will be a tough match for me," said Youzhny. "I need to be just ready to play and enjoy the Centre Court, because it's not every year you can play against top players on Centre Court."

World No. 130 Lukasz Kubot equalled his best Grand Slam championship performance by breaking a four-match losing streak against Benoit Paire, the No. 25 seed. In a reverse of their Roland Garros meeting, five weeks ago, Kubot won 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 54 minutes. Kubot, who lost 10 points in a 21-minute first set, also reached the 2010 Australian Open and 2011 Wimbledon fourth rounds.

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