Murray: I’ve got the edge over Ferrer on grass

BRITISH No1 Andy Murray insists that playing on Wimbledon’s grass surface could make the difference for him today as he anticipates a difficult quarter-final contest against Spain’s David Ferrer.

Seventh seed Ferrer defeated Murray 6-4, 6-7 (7-3), 6-3, 6-2 in the last eight of last month’s French Open but the Scot believes that the clay courts of Roland Garros gave him an advantage that he today will not have, even though the world No5 was convincing throughout his impressive 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 victory over former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro yesterday.

“I’d rather not play [Ferrer] on a clay court because it’s a surface that I’ve struggled against him on,” said Murray, who also yesterday won with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 dismissal of Croatia’s Marin Cilic, despite the interruptions brought by rain.

“But on the other surfaces I’ve played some good matches against him. Tough matches, but good. I’ve won against him a few times. Hopefully I can do the same.”

Murray has so far avoided seriously aggravating the back injury that undermined him during that loss to Ferrer, but he regardless remains wary of the threat of fatigue. After beating Marcos Baghdatis in Wimbledon’s latest ever finish on Saturday night, his rest on Sunday was followed by playing against

Cilic both yesterday and on Monday because of the interruptions brought by rain; today represents his third consecutive day without recovery.

“It’s not just me – there’s lots of guys in exactly the same position,” he said. “Anyone will tell you if you play four matches in eight days, it’s better than playing four matches in five or six days. The more rest you can get the better, but it’s part of playing grand slam tennis.

“Often it’s happened to me in the past at the US Open where there’s been a backlog of matches. It’s not going to be the only time it happens here, either.”

Should Murray succeed in defeating Ferrer he will have equalled his best ever performance at Wimbledon by reaching the final four, but in this instance his hopes of reaching the final may be greater as a consequence of Rafael Nadal’s stunning early elimination. Awaiting in the semi-final will be the winner of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga versus Philipp Kohlschreiber, the former also winning yesterday with a 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-4 win over America’s Mardy Fish.

In the women’s tournament, American sixth seed Serena Williams overcame defending champion Petra Kvitova in a 6-3, 7-5 victory and, despite impressing in doing so, remained adamant that she needed to improve if she was to win her fifth Wimbledon title. “If I want to win the title, I have to step it up,” Williams said.

Victoria Azarenka, meanwhile, defeated Tamira Paszek 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS

Men’s singles

■ D Ferrer [7] v A Murray [4]

■ R Federer [3] v M Youzhny [26]

■ N Djokovic [1] v F Mayer [31]

■ J Tsonga [5] v P Kohlschreiber [27]