Quer­rey wins in quar­ter­fi­nals

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Howard Fendrich Daniel Leal-Oli­vas, AFP

LONDON» The first por­ten­tous sign of trou­ble for Andy Mur­ray, sur­pris­ingly enough, came right as the two-time Wim­ble­don cham­pion con­structed an am­ple lead over Sam Quer­rey in the quar­ter­fi­nals Wed­nes­day.

The top-seeded Mur­ray flicked a cross­court back­hand pass­ing shot so force­fully, placed it so per­fectly, that Quer­rey barely got his racket on the ball, send­ing a vol­ley well wide. With that, Mur­ray was up by a set plus a break in the sec­ond. As he headed to the side­line for the changeover, though, Mur­ray limped, both­ered by a sore left hip.

As the match wore on, the hitch in Mur­ray’s step be­came more pro­nounced, his shots less ef­fec­tive. And Quer­rey, an Amer­i­can seeded 24th, took full ad­van­tage, hit­ting 27 aces and dom­i­nat­ing down the stretch to stun Mur­ray, and a par­ti­san Cen­tre Court crowd, with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-1 vic­tory, earn­ing a spot in the ini­tial Grand Slam semi­fi­nal of his ca­reer.

“I am still in a lit­tle bit of shock my­self,” said Quer­rey, the first U.S. man to reach a ma­jor semi­fi­nal since Andy Rod­dick was the 2009 Wim­ble­don run­ner-up.

An­other quar­ter­fi­nal sur­prise ar­rived later Wed­nes­day, tak­ing out yet an­other mem­ber of the sport’s Big 4 and owner of mul­ti­ple Wim­ble­don ti­tles: No­vak Djokovic stopped play­ing be­cause of a right el­bow in­jury while trail­ing 2010 run­ner-up To­mas Berdych of the Czech Repub­lic 7-6 (2), 2-0. Djokovic’s el­bow was mas­saged by a trainer dur­ing a med­i­cal time­out af­ter the open­ing set. A day ear­lier, dur­ing his fourth-round match, Djokovic also took a med­i­cal time­out.

“It was only get­ting worse,” said Djokovic, ex­plain­ing his el­bow was in the most pain when he hit serves and fore­hands. “Un­for­tu­nately to­day was the worst day. Prob­a­bly the fact that I played yes­ter­day, kind of days adding up, as I’ve said be­fore, it wasn’t help­ing at all.”

The owner of three cham­pi­onships at the All Eng­land Club, and 12 ma­jor tro­phies over­all, said his el­bow has been both­er­ing him for more than a year, that he opted against surgery and that he will con­sider tak­ing a break from the tour.

Time off has paid div­i­dends for Roger Fed­erer, who missed the last half of 2016 to al­low his sur­gi­cally re­paired left knee heal, then skipped the clay-court sea­son this year. He, Djokovic, Mur­ray and Rafael Nadal com­bined to win the past 14 Wim­ble­don ti­tles, but only Fed­erer now re­mains in the field.

The 35-year-old Fed­erer, who has won seven of his record 18 Grand Slam cham­pi­onships at the All Eng­land Club, is the grass­court tour­na­ment’s old­est semi­fi­nal­ist since Ken Rose­wall in 1974 at age 39. Fed­erer pro­duced a straight­for­ward 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (4) vic­tory over Mi­los Raonic, the man who beat him in last year’s semi­fi­nals.

On Fri­day, Fed­erer will face Berdych for a berth in the fi­nal. Quer­rey meets 2014 U.S. Open cham­pion Marin Cilic of Croa­tia, who got past 16th-seeded Gilles Muller 3-6, 7-6 (6), 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 with the help of 33 aces. Muller elim­i­nated Nadal in the fourth round.

Bri­tain’s Andy Mur­ray col­lects his things af­ter los­ing to Sam Quer­rey in their quar­ter­fi­nal match Wed­nes­day.

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