THE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013
Murray Back From The Brink Against Verdasco
by ATP Staff|
Andy Murray came back from two sets down for the seventh time in his career on Wednesday at Wimbledon as he reached the semi-finals of The Championships with a 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Fernando Verdasco.
"You're more concerned about losing the match, not thinking so much that, 'I'm going to lose at Wimbledon,'" said Murray. "You're concerned how the match is going and that you may lose. But when you've been in that position a lot of times, you know how to think through it and not get too far ahead of yourself. I definitely didn't rush when I went two sets to love down. I slowed myself down, if anything, and that was a good sign."
The 26-year-old Murray will contest the semi-finals at the All England Club for the fifth year in a row and will face first-time Grand Slam semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz. Murray has a 1-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Janowicz, losing to the Pole in their most recent meeting at the 2012 BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.
Looking ahead to meeting Janowicz, the No. 22 seed, on Friday, Murray admitted, “He is one of the best young players on the tour. He served at 140 miles per hour, he is an aggressive player and very tall. He is a great athlete and it will be a difficult match.”
The Scot is bidding to reach his seventh Grand Slam final and fourth in a row, having finished runner-up at Wimbledon last year (l. to Federer), before winning his first major title at the US Open (d. Djokovic) and then losing in the Australian Open final this year (l. to Djokovic). He was forced to miss last month’s Roland Garros due to a back injury.
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Murray goes into the semi-finals on a 10-match winning streak, having won his 27th tour-level title three weeks ago at The Queen’s Club.
Murray improved to a 9-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Verdasco with victory in three hours and 26 minutes on Centre Court. It is the second time Murray has rescued a two-set deficit at SW19, having beaten Richard Gasquet in five sets in the 2008 fourth round.
Verdasco’s forehand was a turbulent stroke in the opening set, but it came to the fore at a crunch time. With Murray in trouble on serve at 4-5, 30/30, the Spaniard hit a searing forehand winner to earn set point and was gifted the opener as Murray double faulted.
Murray looked to have righted the ship as he broke for a 2-1 lead in the second set, but the Scot could not rein in the unforced errors and four came at a crucial time as he gave the break back to Verdasco in the sixth game. More errors from the Scot’s racquet saw him go down 15/40 in the eighth game and Verdasco got the break with a return net cord winner. In a dramatic ninth game, Murray played an inspirational point to help him to a 0/40 advantage, but Verdasco held his nerve and reeled off five straight points to take the second set and shock the Centre Court crowd.
Murray opened the third set with a double fault, but after fighting through a tricky opening service game, he took charge by breaking Verdasco in the following game. More in control of his strokes from the baseline and not allowing Verdasco to dictate with his forehand, Murray broke the Spaniard again in the sixth game and served out the set.
Unable to get any real momentum, Murray saved four break points in his first and third service games as he fought to level the fourth set at 3-3. The Dunblane native then earned a decisive break in the seventh game to send the match into a decider, meeting with a roar of approval on Centre Court.
Verdasco began the fifth set in aggressive fashion and looked the more confident of the two players as the fifth set developed. But World No. 2 Murray stepped up in the 11th game, winning a 20-stroke rally to earn break point. He then pummelled the Verdasco forehand to draw the error and served out victory to love.
“He served unbelievably well especially when he was behind in games,” said Murray. “At the end of the first set, he played really well. My level dropped in the second set and I made some mistakes and some poor choices.
“He is a very, very good player and he is competing as well as he did a few years ago. I don’t know if it was the most emotional match that I have ever played in, but I am thankful for the support of the crowd."