Andy Murray delivered an absolute masterclass to pave his way into the quarter finals of Wimbledon for the fourth straight year. A robust mentality, clutch shotmaking and a booming first serve featured prominently in a 7-6 6-3 6-2 victory.
Playing in front of some distinguished guests, most notably the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, big things were expected from this match-up. However, it was Gasquet who was looking more dangerous and likely to break in the early stages of the match. The British number one staved off a break point, and after a few tense moments, blew his opponent away 7-3 in the resulting tie-break. Murray was perhaps fortunate to get to a tie-break, but there can be no doubts that he lifted his level higher when the shootout arrived.
Murray almost had a trademark lapse in concentration at the start of the second, going down 0-30. The Scot rallied magnificiently though, showing grit and calmness that has not always been evident this year. This game served as a microcosm for the second set. Murray waited patiently for his chances, and snatched the break at 4-3, and subsequently, served out with relative ease. After surrendering a two set lead in their last two encounters, Gasquet looked out of steam, and out of ideas as how to stop Murray's pacy charge towards the finishing line.Read more (158 words)
Possessing the two set lead, Murray started to loosen up, and the exhibition tennis flowed. There was no flashy trick shots like the ones we have seen against Tsonga and Ljubicic, but ordinary approach shots from Gasquet were punished with authority by the Briton. Murray was indefatigable, swatting forehands on the run for winners, and knifing passing shots past the increasingly despondent Frenchman. Gasquet was not playing badly by any means (he hit only twelve unforced errors all match) but he could not match the intensity or shotmaking of the home favourite.
A slight hiccough ensued when serving for the match, but Murray held firm to seal one of his most consumnate wins of his career. After a quick bow to the royalty present, Murray will have been pleased to get his win before the rain clouds break. Awaiting the man from Dunblane in the quarter finals is big serving Feliciano Lopez.