Saturday 16 December 2017

Andy Murray keeps home nation's hopes alive as he cruises into Wimbledon quarter finals

Andy Murray
Andy Murray

ANDY Murray was fighting to keep Britain's Wimbledon hopes alive this afternoon after Laura Robson bowed out of the tournament.

Murray, 26, is the firm favourite in his fourth-round tie on Centre Court against Russia's Mikhail Youzhny.

 

He returned to the spotlight after Robson, 19, crashed out following a tense match on Court One. Serena Williams also went out today, making a shock exit in her Centre Court clash with Sabine Lisicki.

 

Robson, who appeared devastated by her defeat, fought back tears as she left the Wimbledon lawn, unable to wave to her fans for fear she would cry.

 

Now all hopes for a British champion rest on Murray once again.

 

The Scot was supported this afternoon by his mother Judy, who was allocated a seat in the Royal Box, along with actor Eddie Redmayne, who arrived at SW19 with his girlfriend Hannah Bagshawe.

 

Murray is now the only star name left on his side of the men's draw following one of the most astonishing weeks in Wimbledon history which saw a string of top players make unexpectedly early departures from the tournament.

 

Former champion John McEnroe has said it would be an "absolute catastrophe" if Murray does not secure a place in the final.

 

His match this afternoon - on a day dubbed "Magic Monday" on account of the stellar line-up - will be followed by a clash between world number one Novak Djokovic and Tommy Haas.

 

The draw meant supporters began to descend on SW19 on Friday evening to secure seats on Centre Court.

 

A host of sporting figures - including rowers Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent - were invited into the Royal Box to watch today's play.

 

Murray, who had the backing of a lively crowd, encouraged the cheers as he took points.

 

Supporters responded with further applause and the Scot smiled as noise levels shot up on Centre Court.

 

Murray has spoken of the "special" atmosphere at Wimbledon which traditionally draws a more reverent audience than other grand slams.

 

He harked back to last summer's Olympics when he was spurred on by more "raucous" crowds, in his BBC column yesterday.

 

Press Association

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