LONDON: Andy Murray Tuesday reached a fifth successive Wimbledon quarterfinal where he will meet Spanish bulldozer David Ferrer who has made the last eight for the first time at the 10th attempt.
British fourth seed Murray beat Croatian 16th seed Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 6-3 as organizers scrambled to make up for lost time caused by heavy rain.
He will now attempt to go on to a fourth All England Club semifinal on the trot, but will first have to get past seventh-seeded Ferrer who put out former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-3 6-2 6-3.
Murray had led Queen’s Club winner Cilic, against whom he was defending a 5-1 career record, 7-5 3-1 overnight when play was suspended due to Monday’s downpours.
They played two games Tuesday before more rain sent them off Court One for an hour.
But on the resumption, the Scot was rarely troubled as Cilic struggled with his opponent and the damp, chilly conditions.
Murray was playing his last 16 tie against a background of controversy after it was suggested that, as the country’s best hope for a finalist since Bunny Austin in 1938, he should play all his matches on Centre Court.
“I honestly don’t care which court I play on. It makes no difference but obviously every player would rather be on Centre Court because you know you are going to get your match in regardless of the weather,” he said.
“I don’t think I deserve to play every match on Centre Court. It’s just annoying when the weather is bad.
“I haven’t always dealt with rain delays that well in the past, so it’s good experience for me. Probably from now on I will play on Centre so it won’t be a problem.”
Only three of the scheduled last 16 men’s ties had been completed on Monday with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Mikhail Youzhny able to enjoy a day off before Wednesday’s quarterfinals.
Federer will play Youzhny looking for a 14th win in 14 matches against the Russian.
Defending champion Djokovic will tackle German 31st seed Florian Mayer, who reached the quarterfinals for the second time, eight years after his first appearance, with a 6-3 6-1 3-6 6-2 win over French 18th seed Richard Gasquet.
It was Mayer’s first win over 2007 semifinalist Gasquet since 2004 and was sweet revenge for losing a Davis Cup quarterfinal rubber to the French player in 2011 after being two sets to love ahead.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. Eight years ago I was here in the quarters, and now eight years later it’s happened again. So it’s a wonderful dream for me,” said Mayer.
Ferrer never got the chance to start his match Monday, but the 30-year-old, now carrying Spain’s hopes after the shock elimination of Rafael Nadal, wasted no time against ninth seed Del Potro, racing home beneath the Centre Court roof in under two hours.
Del Potro, who had also made the last 16 in 2011, was undone by 20 unforced errors compared to Ferrer’s more conservative eight.
“Of course I prefer Rafael or another Spaniard here with me because I am only with my team,” said Ferrer, who is tied 5-5 in career meetings with Murray.
Philipp Kohlschreiber, the 27th seed, became the second German into the last eight, ending U.S. qualifier Brian Baker’s fairytale run with a 6-1 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 win in an hour and 55 minutes on Court 12. He will faces either French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or U.S. 10th seed Mardy Fish in the last eight.
Kohlschreiber goes fourth on the list of the most Grand Slams played before reaching the last eight.