Britain's Andy Murray admitted he remains troubled by a shoulder injury despite dispatching big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic to reach an eighth successive Wimbledon quarter-final yesterday.
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Murray entered the clash boasting the highest percentage of return games won in the tournament and most points taken against an opponent’s first serve, while Karlovic, who stands at 6ft 11in, is renowned for his unrelenting serving prowess.
World No25 Karlovic struck a further 29 aces to take his tally for championships to 165, although a resilient Murray retaliated and hit 62 winners on his way to a 7-6 (9-7), 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 success. He now faces unseeded Canadian Vasek Pospisil tomorrow.
“I’m still conscious of it and I’m playing with quite a lot of taping on the shoulder,” revealed Murray. “But I played for three hours today and it feels better than it did three, four days ago, which is positive.
“It feels better, although I would have liked to have served a little bit bigger today, a little bit harder. That’s something that as I go on in the tournament, I’ll need to try and do more of.”
In contrast to world No3 Murray, who has only dropped two sets at the All England Club this year, three of the four matches played by last-eight opponent Pospisil, including his tussle with British No4 James Ward in round three, have gone to five sets, while the 25-year-old has also featured in the doubles.
Murray has played and beaten Pospisil three times in the last 10 months, all on hard courts, and believes the hectic schedule of his rival at SW19 may be something to exploit.
“He’s played a lot of tennis here, which is a positive for him in some ways, but maybe he’s a little fatigued,” added Murray. “So if that is the case, and I won’t bank on it being the case, I’ll try to use that to my advantage.”
Defending champion Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, was staring down the barrel of a major upset after losing the opening two sets of his showdown with South Africa’s Kevin Anderson on tie-breaks. World No1 and eight-time grand slam winner Djokovic fought back to level 6-7 (6-8), 6-7 (6-8), 6-1, 6-4 before bad light stopped play. The duo will resume today, with the victor set to face US Open champion Marin Cilic for a place in the semi-finals.
Seven-time champion Roger Federer brushed aside Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3, to reach his 13th Wimbledon quarter-final where he will face Frenchman Gilles Simon, who beat world No6 Tomas Berdych.
Switzerland’s Federer was joined in the last eight by fellow countryman Stan Wawrinka after the French Open winner overcame world No15 David Goffin 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (9-7), 6-4.
Wimbledon Spy: All England Shorts
Vegemite-row Kyrgios crashes
Aussie bad boy Nick Kyrgios bowed out in four sets against France’s Richard Gasquet with his most erratic display yet. The volatile 20-year-old appeared to give up in the second set after receiving a code violation for swearing, then had a row with the umpire when removing socks, hugged a ball boy and tossed his racquet into the crowd after a bad line call. Kyrgios’s loss came despite a bizarre show of support from some fans Down Under, who daubed their faces in Vegemite. He appeared to welcome the effort, which has been called racist.
Hewitt exhausts every avenue
The curtain finally came down on Lleyton Hewitt’s Wimbledon career last night, 13 years after he won the men’s title. The Australian, 34, who had already lost in the singles draw and the men’s doubles, tasted defeat for the final time when he and Casey Dellacqua lost to ninth seeds Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Cara Black.
Ryder stars holed up in Royal Box
There was a Ryder Cup flavour to the Royal Box, where 2014 captain Paul McGinley was joined by players Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, and Miguel Angel Jimenez, as well as ex-skipper and City A.M. columnist Sam Torrance.
Order of play
▀ Sharapova  v Vandeweghe
▀ S. Williams  v Azarenka 
▀ Muguruza  v Bacsinszky 
▀ Keys  v Radwanska