Andy Murray served up a royal treat for Prince William and Catherine as the British fourth seed thrived in 30-degree heat to crush Richard Gasquet and reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals on Monday.
The 24-year-old, who had to come from two sets to love down to defeat the flamboyant Frenchman in the fourth round three years ago, had no such problems this time, wrapping up a 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-2 victory.
Murray, bidding to become Britain’s first men’s Wimbledon champion since Fred Perry in 1936, has reached a fourth consecutive quarterfinal and will now tackle either Spain’s Feliciano Lopez or Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot.
“I thought it was good — I think I served well, and I got a lot of free points off that,” said Murray, who has yet to make a Wimbledon final.
“The conditions were very warm so if you can get in front of your opponent you’re in good shape. I made quite a lot of good passing shots in the end and I did well to come through.
“But I need to improve — the best players ever are still in the tournament, so I need to get even better.”
The centre court crowd had given watching newly-weds, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, a standing ovation when they arrived in the Royal Box, and the fans were on their feet again to salute a majestic performance from the Scot.
Serve dominated in the first set with Gasquet carving out the only break point in the second game which Murray saved.
It was then an even contest between Murray’s fierce forehand and Gasquet’s classical one-handed backhand as the opener was decided in the fourth seeds’ favour when he played the cleaner tiebreak.
Gasquet, the 17th seed, appeared to be wilting in the centre court heat and his body language betrayed him.
Murray created his first break point of the match in the eighth game of the second set which he converted when the Frenchman unleashed a wild backhand which sailed long.
The set was the fourth seed’s when Gasquet again mis-hit a service return.
Murray was in cruise control now, breaking in the fifth and seventh games and took the tie on his second match point courtesy of his 14th ace after two hours and four minutes. — AFP