PATRIOTIC football fans may have had little to cheer of late but British No1 Andy Murray helped lift the gloom yesterday by beating Sam Querrey to reach the last eight.
The Scot, 23, showed guts to overcome first-set jitters and defeat the in-form American 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 on a blistering Centre Court.
Victory secured Murray a place in the quarter-finals at the All England Club for the third successive year and means he is the only man left in the tournament yet to drop a set.
Murray will now meet Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, seeded 10th, tomorrow as he bids to match last year’s feat of reaching the last four.
“It was a very good match,” said the fourth seed. “I had my chances at the end of the first set, it was a huge point in the match because he had the momentum and I managed to nick it away from him.
“It’s tough playing against someone with such a big serve. The shot-making today was great, especially towards the end of the first set. I played well, just a few dips in the performance.”
Querrey went into the match in high spirits, with a career-high world ranking of 21 and boosted by his triumph at Queen’s Club this month, and bombarded Murray with a booming serve and hefty forehand.
Yet Murray looked to be coasting to the first set until losing his way at 5-3 up. The world No4 allowed Querrey to level and then had to save three break points before finally clinching the opener.
Murray was far from convincing as the second set began but his opponent also wavered, allowing him to open up a 2-0 advantage that he never looked likely to relinquish.
And he earned a match-winning breakthrough at 4-4 in the third that enabled him to wrap up the match in little more than two hours.