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Murray Mania is set to run wild in Great Britain as the young Scotsman moved one step closer to his first ever Wimbledon final by seeing off the challenge of Spanish no.2 David Ferrer in 3 hours and 52 minutes in the quarter-finals today. Ferrer won the opening set of their high quality tennis match, but Murray came back strongly to win the next three to record a hard fought 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 7-6 win. Up next for the world no.4 is the challenge of the 5th seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who for once in his career will not have the backing of the fans, when he takes on the home hero. Tsonga did produce the goods today though, losing his customary set en route to defeating Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in another entertaining affair. Earlier in the day, defending champion Novak Djokovic and 6-time champion Roger Federer coasted through their respective quarter-finals to set up a dream date in Friday's semis.
Ferrer struck first in the opening set, breaking Murray with relative ease in just the 4th game with the help of some deep and penetrating groundstrokes to go up 3-1. However, with both players known for their returning prowess, service turned out to be more of a liability with the veteran learning it the hard way by getting himself broken while serving for the set in the 9th game thanks to some consistent returns from the other end of the court. The rest of the set went on serve with the Spaniard getting out of some spots of bother to stay on level terms with the Briton to finally force a tie breaker. The tie breaker proved to be a topsy turvy affair witnessing a series of mini breaks and critical momentum shifts. Despite having the all-important momentum coming into the tie breaker, having crawled back from a 2-5 deficit in the set, it was the veteran who came out on top edging Murray 7-5 in the tiebreak to bag the first set in just under an hour.
The second set proved to be a high quality, neck-to-neck affair with very little, if any, separating the players till they reached yet another tiebreak. The set, in spite of the returning expertise of both players, witnessed both players holding serve with consummate ease till the business end of the set. In the 8th game, however, the Spaniard drew first blood with some relentless hitting from both flanks to break Murray's serve. Down a set and a break, things started to look ominous for the local favorite and the highly partisan crowd. Nevertheless, the Briton was not to be denied, reciprocating to stay on even terms. The crowd, by now, started making their presence felt, unwaveringly cheering for their local boy. With the rest of the set proceeding on serve, a tie breaker was necessary to decide the outcome of the set. The tie breaker was even more closely contested with Murray taking it by the skin of his teeth, winning it 8-6, overcoming a 2-5 deficit in the process to tie the scores at one set a piece.
The third set saw more of the same with both players trying desperately to get the all-important break in the set to help them go two sets to one up. It was Ferrer who first smelled blood getting some break points in the 4th game of the set. However, Murray saw off both opportunities largely owing to some fine serving by the Briton. As the tail end of the set approached, Murray started upping the ante, striking his groundstrokes with more authority, which gave him the critical break in the 9th game of the set to give himself the opportunity to serve for the set. A hold to love saw him do just that, rounding off the set with his 12th ace.
With momentum firmly in hand, the Briton continued to roll on in his service games, hardly losing points to the veteran Spaniard. Ferrer was also able to hold on to his service games, albeit with a bit more difficulty, to stay on level terms with Murray. In the 8th game of the set, out of nowhere, Murray found himself in a 15-40 hole courtesy some poor unforced errors. However, some brave approaches to the net, erased both chances with Ferrer managing to hold serve to keep the set on serve. In the next game, it was Ferrer who found himself in an even bigger hole, being forced to save a break point and labour through 3 deuces to finally win the game. Though, rain halted play for a brief period on Centre Court, it did nothing to dampen the standard of play with both players giving it their all to emerge the victor. Two more holds paved the way to yet another tiebreak. However, unlike the previous tie breakers, this did not go the distance as Murray dominated it with his speed and versatility, finishing off proceedings with his third ace of the breaker, thereby booking a spot in the final four.
This promising win places Murray in his 4th consecutive Wimbledon semi-finals where he sets up a date with the charismatic Frenchman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who also needed four sets to dispatch his quarter-final opponent. The Briton has an overall lead of 5-1 in their career head-to-head record with two of those five wins coming on grass. Even though, Tsonga's power-packed and net approaching game is well-suited for the surface, their head-to-head places the Briton as the overwhelming favorite to advance to his first Wimbledon final.
Singles - Quarter-finals
 N Djokovic (SRB) d  F Mayer (GER) 64 61 64
 R Federer (SUI) d  M Youzhny (RUS) 61 62 62
 A Murray (GBR) d  D Ferrer (ESP) 67(5) 76(6) 64 76(4)
 J Tsonga (FRA) d  P Kohlschreiber (GER) 76(5) 46 76(3) 62
File Photograph Copyright: Elizabeth Molineux
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