Andy Murray, Britain’s great hope to break its 77-year drought at Wimbledon, started his quarterfinal match against Fernando Verdasco by losing two sets. With Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer already out of the tournament — leaving Novak Djokovic as the only player of Murray’s stature remaining — it would’ve been a major disappointment to bomb out in the quarters. But Murray was able to tie the match with relative ease, winning the third set 6-1 and the fourth 6-4. The fifth, however, was tight, running to 5-5 without either player threatening a break.
That’s when, at 30-30, Murray forced Verdasco into the net off a stinging backhand down the line.
Murray finally broke Verdasco on the next point, and it was his turn to serve for the match.
The atmosphere was tense. Ball dudes were too nervous to make anything but the slightest movement to avoid getting whacked in the leg.
Murray (in the foreground) never let Verdasco win another point. The Spaniard’s final volley went long and the home-crowd favorite had pulled off the incredible, five-set win.
The sheer relief was palpable, especially from Murray.
The fans went bonkers inside the stadium…
Murray’s coach, Hall of Famer Ivan Lendl, could barely contain his emotion during those last few moments.
Here’s the final point:
And here’s your men’s semifinal pairings, all set for Friday morning.