Simon Reed

Murray raises hopes, but Tsonga awaits

Simon Reed

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What was interesting about Andy Murray's straight-sets win against Marin Cilic is that, when he needs to get a move on, he plays really aggressively. We saw a similar thing when time was running out against Marcos Baghdatis in the last round.

Although Murray was patient at the start of the resumed match against Cilic, towards the end when the rain threatened again he suddenly upped the ante and was superb. He broke Cilic in half.

But it will be very difficult against David Ferrer. Ten years ago that kind of match-up would have been heavily weighted towards Murray, but it's a much slower court now and a constantly improving Ferrer has a big chance.

Their match up is 5-5 and Ferrer has been in great form all tournament. He's not just a clay-court player, he has a fine record now on grass and hard-courts. He never gives up, has incredible fitness and is one of the toughest guys on the tour.

But I can see Murray winning it, particularly with the crowd behind him. I can still see this match going all the way — it will certainly be difficult and a five-setter beckons.

A lot of people got excited when Rafal Nadal went out as, in theory, it cleared the draw for Murray to make the final. If anything though it's just as hard now — if Murray does get past Ferrer, he is likely to have Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semis, and Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer in the final.

I know someone who had Tsonga at over 40/1 at the start, which looked a good bet then and certainly now Nadal is out. I see a Tsonga-Murray semi-final and, while I would favour the world number four against Ferrer, I honestly could not pick a winner from that semi-final.

For me it's an even call — Tsonga is playing massive tennis at the moment and, while he took a bit too long to beat Guillermo Garcia Lopez, he has been excellent since.

Last year Tsonga's win over Roger Federer was the best the Frenchman has ever played. There's a chance he could repeat that against Murray — and the people who beat Murray tend to be big hitters. And not only is Tsonga a big hitter, but he's hitting increasingly well as the tournament goes on.

In my view the draw has got a lot harder for Murray now — I would almost rather he faced Nadal in a Wimbledon semi than Tsonga.

Murray is a long, long way from winning it but he has at least raised people's hopes — not for the first time.


Serena Williams picked her game up when she needed to. She had to play better against Petra Kvitova, and she did. Her serving was magnificent, as was the rest of her game.

My pet theory at the moment is that Serena plays better under pressure, because without it she creates her own problems.

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She's such a perfectionist and, if she's playing someone of a lower level and it's not going perfectly, she starts to doubt herself and gets distracted from the task at hand. It's a recent thing, certainly not a trait of the Serena of old, but today we saw that Serena of old.

I don't think Angelique Kerber has a chance of victory overall. Sabine Lisicki should have won that match — Kerber got frightened at 3-1 down in the second set and Lisicki should have gone on to dominate the third too. Kerber was making errors and she did not play well — Lisicki lost that set, Kerber didn't win it.

While has a chance to get into a final, she hasn't got a chance against Serena. And it will most likely be Serena who awaits in the final.

Victoria Azarenka's semi with Serena is the final for me; whoever wins that will only have themselves to blame if she doesn't take the Wimbledon title.

I don't see anything else in the other side of the draw to threaten those two. I think Serena will do it, but Azarenka is back on top of her game, has the confidence of being a Slam winner, and will push her all the way. She was impressive against Tamira Paszek, who has been in great form, and it will be one heck of a match.

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