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Murray prevails in Ferrer battle
Andy Murray reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the fourth year in a row with a hugely impressive victory over in-form Spaniard David Ferrer.
The fourth seed looked in big trouble at a set and a break down but he dug deep, saved a set point in an epic second-set tie-break and eventually came through 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (8/6) 6-4 7-6 (7/4).
On Friday he will play Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as he bids to become the first British man since Bunny Austin in 1938 to reach the Wimbledon singles final.
The Scot, who was watched by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, had two chances to break in the third game but Ferrer held firm, and it was the underdog who drew first blood to move 3-1 ahead when Murray netted a forehand.
With two of the best returners facing one another, it was not surprising the games were close, and Ferrer kept his nose in front until he served for the set at 5-3. Murray stepped up a gear on his return and saved one set point before breaking back courtesy of a great backhand pass.
Into the tie-break they went and, from 2-0 behind, Ferrer won the next four points to take control. Murray retrieved the mini-break but then netted a forehand to go set point down at 6-5, and this time the Spaniard took his opportunity when the home hope again found the net.
Ferrer found himself serving for the second set but for the first time he wobbled, a series of errors allowing Murray to level at 5-5.
A second tie-break followed and again it was Ferrer who took control, winning the first three points and then opening up a 5-2 lead. Murray fought back to draw level though, and then saved the first set point, this time his sometimes suspect forehand holding firm. A big serve gave the fourth seed a set point and he took it when Ferrer finally buckled after another brutal rally.
Another tie-break looked on the cards in the third, but a super forehand return from Murray earned him his first break point of the set in the ninth game and a chance to serve for it at 5-4. He took it, a backhand proving too good even for Ferrer's remarkable defences, and he did not allow his opponent a sniff of a break back as he clinched the set with an ace.
There was a brief rain delay shortly before their third tie-break to decide the fourth set, and this time Murray seized his moment, setting up match point with a forehand down the line and then sealing one of his best grand slam victories with his 18th ace after eight minutes short of four hours.