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Murray Extends Grass-Court Winning Streak; Plays Verdasco In Wimbledon QFs

Wimbledon, England

Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray is now 15-match unbeaten on grass courts.

Second seed Andy Murray advanced to the quarter-finals of The Championships for the sixth straight year on Monday. 

Murray defeated No. 20 seed Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-1 on Centre Court. It extended his grass-court winning streak to 15 matches. He has yet to drop a set in four matches this year at the All England Club. 

“I felt good so far. I played some good matches. Today, was a tough one," said Murray. "It was the toughest test for me, and I came through it well. It will be a different challenge on Wednesday. I'll get myself ready for that and hopefully play well."

The World No. 2, who finished runner-up to Roger Federer in last year’s final, takes an 8-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head lead against his next opponent, Fernando Verdasco. "He's a great player, one of the best players on tour," said Youzhny. "Of course, it is going to be difficult to beat him, also with the crowd. You need to have faith and try your best to try to win."

Murray said, "Verdasco is a very, very good tennis player. He's extremely dangerous when he's on his game. I haven't played a left‑hander the whole year, which I think is pretty amazing six months into the year. So I'll try and get a lefty in to serve at me tomorrow."

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Murray performed at the highest level when he was aggressive, stepping into the court on his backhand and mixing up his service placement to keep Youzhny guessing. He committed four unforced errors in the first set and broke his opponent’s serve in the third game.

Having taken a 2-0 lead in the second set, Murray lost five games in a row. Backing himself on return of serve, Murray worked his way back to a tie-break. He soon trailed due to a concentration lapse. 

At 2-2, Youzhny hit a smash winner and was then gifted a double fault. From 3-5, Murray won four straight points. He ripped a crosscourt backhand return winner on set point.   

“I was pretty pumped up, especially after I won the second set, because I came back from 3-5 down in that tie-break and played four very good points to get that set,” said Murray. “It was an important set, as well, because obviously I was up a break, then down a break. He served for the set. Then I had chances to break at 5 5. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing. It was good to get the crowd into it in the end.”

Youzhny received treatment on his right shoulder before the start of the third set, which saw Murray take a 3-0 lead. He completed victory in two hours and 37 minutes.

"It was really good atmosphere," said Youzhny. "The crowd was really polite, really good. I didn't feel any pressure from the crowd. It was close first two sets. But Andy served better than me [and] that's why he won. He didn't give me any presents."

VerdascoVerdasco got the better of Kenny de Schepper, the World No. 80, to become the seventh Spaniard in the Open Era to reach Wimbledon quarter-finals. The former World No. 7 has reached the stage on his 11th appearance at the tournament.

Verdasco lost just one of his 15 service games in a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory over one hour and 49 minutes for his 20th match win at the All England Club. 

"I felt pretty good in general," said Verdasco. "Of course, it was a little windy and sometimes some games were not that easy. But I think I played a good match. I felt good on the court and happy to [have] won and be in quarter-finals for first time."

The 29-year-old Madrid resident posted his best Grand Slam championships performance at the 2009 Australian Open, when he reached the semi-finals (l. to Nadal).

Murray said, "I think all the matches are going to keep getting tougher. Everyone is going to be more comfortable with the conditions than they are at the beginning of the week. You don't fluke at getting into the quarter-finals of a [Grand] Slam. You need to win four tough matches to get there. Everyone is playing well now."

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