Murray rolls on but a bad day for the rest of the Brits
By Philip James
Andy Murray progressed to Wimbledon quarterfinals today but Laura Robson missed out on joining him and six British-represented doubles teams were knocked out.
Andy Murray (GBR) def Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-1
If the hyperbole is to be believed, Andy’s name is already on the schedule for men’s finals day at the All England Club, if not already on the trophy itself.
But the 26th-seeded Russian who made the final of the grass court tournament in Halle represented a potential banana skin for the world number two.
However, if anything was going to make Murray guard against complacency it was watching overwhelming favourite Serena Williams eliminated in the preceding match on centre court.
The first set was an even affair and though both men won only eleven points on return, it was Murray who was able to win enough of those points in a single game to earn the break points.
The 2013 Olympic champion took the only break of the set in just the third game and Youzhny never looked like breaking back.
The second set had a sense of déjà vu as Murray again broke in the third game with a barely believable cross-court winner on a break point, the shot of the match so far.
But just as it looked like it might be a comfortable day at the office for Murray, the Russian broke right back, and then broke again as he reeled off four games in a row.
Youzhny could not serve out the set however as Murray broke back to force a tie-break.
Britain’s number one then had to repeat that fight back in the tie-break and at 5-3 down one of his frustrating drop shots dribbled over the net cord.
But from there Murray did not look back, as he took the breaker 7-5 and then dropped just one game in the third set as the Russian seemed lose heart, Murray wrapping up in the win in two hours and 37 minutes.
Next up the Scot is unseeded-Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, who has impressed en route to the quarters, despite having the path cleared for him by the retirements of Tsonga and Cilic.
Kaia Kanepi (EST) def Laura Robson (GBR) 7-6(6) 7-5
There was to be no fairy tale quarter-final for Laura Robson who, after a great fight back in the previous round, let the lead slip herself today.
Robson had a break opportunity in the third game and then did break at 4-4 to give herself the chance to serve for the first set.
But she could not consolidate and Kanepi, who squeaked past another Brit Tara Moore in round one, broke straight back to force the tie-break.
Robson seemed to be in the driving seat at 5-2 in the breaker but the Estonian fought back to level it at 5-5, aided by a double fault, before seizing her second set point to take it 8-6.
Though Robson saved three break points to keep the second set on serve she was powerless when Kanepi forced 0-40 and suddenly the Estonian was serving for the set.
Willed on by the adoring crowd, the 19-year-old Brit saved two match points at 40-15, and then another two on advantages.
But eventually the impressive Kanepi saw off the spirited fight-back and booked her quarterfinal place against Serena Williams’ conqueror; Sabine Lisicki.
There will be no British doubles champion at Wimbledon this year as all the remaining competitors were eliminated today.
Jonny Marray’s defence of his men’s doubles title ended as he and Colin Fleming lost their third round match against sixth seeds Robert Lindstedt and Daniel Nestor.
Lindstedt got his revenge for defeat at the hands of Marray in last year’s final, overcoming the ninth seeded Brits 7-6(5), 7-5, 6-3.
It was a tight match with just two breaks of serve but crucially both for the Swedish-Candian combo while the Brits could not force a break chance themselves.
The only other Brit left in the men’s doubles draw faced the daunting task of taking on the world number one Bryan brothers which his partner Filipino Treat Huey in round three.
The American top seeds have swept all before them so far this year, recording more titles (8) than they have loses (6) and were just too strong, winning 7-5.6-3, 7-6( 3).
Fleming, Marray and Robson were all in mixed doubles action too but there was to be no consolation win for them.
Marray, partnering Heather Watson, started their second round match excellently, easily taking the first set 6-2 against 14th seeds David Marrero and Kimiko Date-Krumm.
But six double faults in the second set cost them dearly as Marrero and Date-Krumm broke three times to level the match and a single break in the decide was enough seal the win 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
The pairing of Fleming and Robson were playing their first round match and they two started brightly against Slovakian team of Filip Polasek, Janette Husarova, taking the first set on a tie-break.
But like Marray and Watson, they could not kick on to win, eventually losing 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-4.
Jamie Murray and his partner Su-Wei Hsieh started their match against Jean-Julien Rojer and
Vera Dushevina on Saturday, taking the first set on a tie-break.
But the match was suspended due to bad light with Rojer and Dushevina just one game from victory and it took just two to seal it today, as they won 6-7(2) 6-3, 6-4.
The last Brit on show was 18-year-old Kyle Edmund who was partnering Canadian teen-sensation Eugenie Bouchard.
Bouchard had impressed reaching the third round in both the ladies singles and doubles, and she and Edmund put up a good fight against the Scandinavian pairing of Sofia Arvidsson and Frederik Nielsen.
Nielsen of course won the men’s doubles title last year with Marray and he and Arvidsson proved too strong, winning 7-5, 6-4.
Inglot and Johanna Konta, the last remaining Brits in the doubles draw, will play their second round match tomorrow against eighth seeds Daniel Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic.