PATIENCE was the secret to Andy Murray’s epic five-set victory over unseeded Fernando Verdasco yesterday, according to the world No2, who sealed his place in a fifth consecutive Wimbledon semi-final.
The 26-year-old Briton, yet to drop a set before this quarter-final, had no answer to Verdasco’s monster serves in the opening two sets. However, Murray dug deep and, with a partisan Centre Court crowd firmly behind him, recovered to take the next three sets and advance 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 in three hours and 27 minutes.
It was the seventh time in his career that Murray had won from two sets down and the Scot believes a level-headed approach was the key to his thrilling triumph.
“I thought about what I was doing wrong and I changed tactics a little bit. I was more patient and took a bit longer between points,” he said.
“I didn’t rush and didn’t give him any free points after that. When you gain more experience you understand how to turn matches around and how to change the momentum of games.
“That can be tactical, or sometimes it can be your opponent. Often you need to be the one making the change. Maybe when I was younger I could have lost that match.”
Murray’s semi-final opponent, No24 seed Jerzy Janowicz, became the first Pole to ever reach the last four of a grand slam, beating compatriot Lukasz Kubot 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.
Janowicz, who is 6ft 8in and the youngest man left in the draw at 22, described himself as “the most happy person in the world” following a result which moved him to tears.
World No1 Novak Djokovic reached a 13th successive grand slam semi-final with a 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 triumph against No7 seed Tomas Berdych.
Djokovic, who had compatriot and Manchester United star Nemanja Vidic cheering him on, is yet to drop a set in these championships and recovered from two breaks down in the second to see off the 2010 runner-up.
Del Potro admitted he was “close to retiring” after twisting his knee in the first game of his quarter-final with No4 seed David Ferrer, but recovered to win 6-2, 6-4, 7-6.
ORDER OF PLAY
Centre Court (1pm start)
Marion Bartoli v Kirsten Flipkens
Sabine Lisicki v Agnieszka Radwanska