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Murray, Dimitrov To Face Off In Wimbledon QFs

Wimbledon, Great Britain

Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray is into his seventh consecutive Wimbledon quarter-final.

Finishing under a closed Centre Court roof, defending champion Andy Murray advanced to the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the seventh year in a row on Monday as he defeated Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(6).

Waiting for Murray in the quarter-finals is rising star Grigor Dimitrov. Murray takes a 3-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head lead over Dimitrov into their contest. It was the Bulgarian who won their most recent contest, on hard court in the Acapulco semi-finals earlier this year.

"Now he's starting to come into his prime," said Murray of Dimitrov. "He's won a lot of matches this year. He's a tough player. Will be a hard match for me. It's a big opportunity for him, as well, playing on the Centre Court at Wimbledon for the first time. It's a great opportunity for him. Hopefully we can play a good match."

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The third-seeded Murray is yet to drop a set in four matches at The Championships. Against Anderson, who was playing on Centre Court for the first time, Murray raced to a 6-4, 3-0 double break lead before the rain came, forcing the players back to the locker room for 27 minutes while the roof was closed.

At the resumption, Anderson came out more aggressive and made life difficult for Murray, who was forced to save a set point in the tie-break before sealing victory in two hours and 32 minutes.

"When it was outdoors, I played well and was in a good position," Murray told BBC television. "When we came back indoors, he started to strike the ball better, he was serving better and I was dropping the ball shorter than I had done. I had more running to do at the end and I got a bit tentative. It was a good win for me; he made it tough."

"I definitely felt I played better in the second half of the match after the rain delay," said Anderson. "It was the first time I played Andy on grass, and it is definitely difficult playing him. I feel my biggest strengths he definitely neutralises a lot better than most people who I play."

The 27-year-old Murray ended Great Britain’s 77-year wait for a homegrown male Wimbledon champion last year as he beat Novak Djokovic in the final to lift his second Grand Slam championship trophy. The Dunblane native had been runner-up to Roger Federer in 2012 and has a 41-7 event record.

DimitrovDimitrov reached his second Grand Slam quarter-final as he held off Mayer 6-4, 7-6(6), 6-2. Play had been interrupted when Dimitrov led 6-5 in the second set. The 23 year old converted three of his five break points and hit 34 winners, including 10 aces, to triumph in two hours and eight minutes, moments before the rain started to fall again.

“Luckily we were away only for 45 minutes, which wasn’t enough time to cool down. I got some food and I was able to focus on what I needed to do better. I chatted to my coach," Dimitrov told BBC television. "The work that I have put in is showing now. I am looking forward to the quarter-final.”

The right-handed Dimitrov contested his first major quarter-final at the Australian Open in January, losing to Rafael Nadal. This season, he has won three ATP World Tour titles and is currently on an eight-match winning streak, having come into Wimbledon following victory at The Queen’s Club, saving one match point to beat Feliciano Lopez.

“I take all the confidence from Queen's out on the court on the grass here,” he said. “I think it's been a great first week for me. The grass has been changing also a little bit around the baseline. It's getting a little tricky, which is a nice thing. Just looking for every match that I got to play.”

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