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Tuesday 20 March 2018

Wimbledon 2012: Andy Murray braced for battle with David Ferrer

Eleanor Crooks

ANDY Murray will take on a player at the peak of his powers when he faces David Ferrer in the Wimbledon quarter-finals today.

The Spaniard is renowned for his clay-court prowess but has developed into a real all-rounder and already won four titles this season, the most of his career.

They have come on three different surfaces, including on grass at the Wimbledon warm-up tournament in 's-Hertogenbosch, and Murray has never seen the Spaniard play better.

"He's not a clay-court specialist," said Murray. "He's won eight matches in a row on the grass.

"He's been in the semi-finals of the Australian Open, semi-finals of the US Open as well, and now he's starting to play better on grass.

"I saw a bit of his match with (Andy) Roddick a few days ago. He seems like he's moving better than in the past. This year I think he's playing the best tennis of his career."

Murray and Ferrer have shared their 10 previous meetings, although four of the Spaniard's victories have come on clay, including their most recent clash at the same stage of the French Open four weeks ago.

Murray eased into the last eight yesterday by completing a 7-5 6-2 6-3 victory in his rain-delayed clash with Croatia's Marin Cilic on Court One.

The Scot's serve was a major factor in the match, and one of the more startling facts for seasoned Murray watchers has been his success on second serves.

It is widely regarded as one of his major weaknesses, but the tournament statistics show the 25-year-old sitting on top of the table for percentage of second serve points won at 69%.

Murray said: "It's important. I served well on first and second serve. It's something I'll need to keep up because the more points you're winning on your second serve, the more confident you are to go for big first serves. I'll try to keep serving that way.

"If I serve like I did at the end of the second set and the third set yesterday, it doesn't matter how well someone's returning. Because if you hit a serve close to the line on grass, you can't get there."

Ferrer feels he is a big underdog and has backed Murray to cope with the pressure of being the home favourite.

The 30-year-old seventh seed said: "It's very difficult to beat Andy on all surfaces, but on grass it is more difficult.

"Maybe he has more pressure than me because he's playing at home. Sometimes it is not easy. But I think Andy is a very great player. He's made the semi-finals here many times."

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