Djokovic, Murray march into quarters
Originally published on: 02/07/13 00:00
Both Djokovic and Murray were forced to dig their way out of a sticky patch in the second set, but they maintained their perfect record at the All England Club this year to reach the last eight with 12 sets won and none conceded.
Djokovic reached his 17th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final as he dispatched German veteran Tommy Haas 6-1 6-4 7-6(4).
The top seed cruised through the opening set in just 25 minutes, but dropped his serve for the first time in the Championships as he found himself a break down in the second set.
Haas, who is playing some of the best tennis of his career at the age of 35, was unable to maintain his advantage, but continued to put the Serb under pressure before Djokovic finally triumphed in a third set tiebreak. The world No.1 will now face Tomas Berdych, who beat him in straight sets at the semi-final stage in 2010.
"I lost to him the only time I played him here,” Djokovic said of his quarter-final opponent. "But I think I am playing really really good tennis at the moment, maybe even better than I was when I won it in 2011."
"It's a nice challenge," said Berdych after his 7-6(4) 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 victory over Bernard Tomic. "I know how to beat him, let's try for the same."
The top half of the draw looks relatively familiar, with Juan Martin Del Potro taking on fourth seed David Ferrer in the other quarter-final.
However, Murray’s path to the final, on paper at least, is considerably smoother after he saw off Mikhail Youzhny 6-4 7-6(5) 6-1. The British No.2 survived a wobble in the second set – battling back from 2-5 down to win the tiebreak before streaking away to victory.
Murray will face Fernando Verdasco in the last eight after the Spaniard reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2010 US Open following a routine 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory over France’s Kenny De Schepper.
Verdasco has enjoyed just one career win in nine attempts against Murray, albeit at a major, when he triumphed in five sets in the fourth round of the Australian Open back in 2009.
“Verdasco is a very, very good tennis player,” Murray said. “He can play well on all the surfaces. It’s just the consistency hasn’t been there. He’s had a few injuries. He’s changed rackets quite a few times. That will have had something to do with it.”
The final quarter-final clash will be an all-Polish affair with Jerzy Janowicz taking on Lukasz Kubot after both players went the distance in their fourth round matches. No.24 seed Janowicz saw off Jurgen Melzer 3-6 7-6(1) 6-4 4-6 6-4, while Kubot got the better of France’s Adrian Mannarino 4-6 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4.