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Murray fights back from two sets down in thriller

ESPN staff
July 3, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Andy Murray superbly battled back to win © PA Photos
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Andy Murray produced a fine comeback from two sets down to topple Fernando Verdasco in a thrilling encounter and book his place in the semi-finals of Wimbledon.

The British No. 1 found Verdasco difficult to budge in the opening set in going behind, and was out-of-sorts in the second to fall two sets down.

However, rather like he did against Richard Gasquet in the last-16 on Centre Court in 2008, Murray fought back from two sets down to seal an incredible 4-6 3-6 6-1 6-4 7-5 victory and keep his Wimbledon dreams alive.

Former world No. 7 Verdasco was unfazed with the task he faced on Centre Court, and a double fault from Murray saw him drop his first set of the tournament.

And the British No. 1 continued to look off-colour in the second set as he squandered a break to fall two sets down.

Murray though began to fight back, and claimed the third set 6-1 and the fourth 6-4 to force a decider, which he took 7-5 to sensationally reach the semi-finals of SW19 for a fifth time.

Verdasco opened the tie with a solid service game - and no doubt the Spaniard would have been nervous about playing the home favourite on Centre Court in a grand slam quarter-final.

Murray appeared to have the edge over his opponent and had a break point in the third game. However, a 132mph first serve from Verdasco saw the chance disappear very quickly, and from 0-30 he moved back in front once again.

Murray continued to attack the backhand of Verdasco, but the latter grew in confidence and began to threaten on the Scot's serve - missing an opportunity from 0-30 to break in the eighth game.

A double fault handed Murray a break point, but Verdasco continued to hold serve, and now the pressure was on the US Open champion to stay in the set.

But, a double fault gifted the set to Verdasco - which happened to be the one and only point the Spaniard had to break the serve.

Fernando Verdasco was the dominant player in the first two sets © PA Photos
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When Murray secured the break and opened up a 3-1 lead in the second set, he looked to be back to his fluent usual self. But then his level completely fell, as four unforced errors gave Verdasco the break back.

Murray was now struggling, and with the aid of a lucky net chord Verdasco claimed the break to go 5-3 in front.

A sign of the world No. 2's problems came in the ninth game - as having three break back points at 0-40, Murray ended up losing the game and the set as Verdasco powered his way to a healthy advantage.

With his back firmly against the wall, Murray began to deliver and piled the pressure on Verdasco - racing to a 3-0 score line and then dropping one game en route to the third set.

Murray was made to work in two of his opening three service games of the fourth set, but managed to fend off break points to stick with Verdasco.

When a break point came the way of Murray though, he was able to take it to edge 4-3 in front, and enjoyed an easy service hold to close in on the fourth set.

Verdasco reduced the gap to one game at 5-4, but Murray held serve to force a decider to get the Centre Court crowd on their feet.

Verdasco battled in the fifth set despite seeing his lead disappearing, and there was nothing to separate the pair after 10 games as play went up on serve.

However, following a couple of bruising and lengthy rallies, it was Murray who broke to go 6-5 up, and the Scot held his nerve to complete a remarkable comeback.

His opponent in the semi-finals will be Jerzy Janowicz after he won the all-Polish battle against Lukasz Kubot 7-5 6-4 6-4.

The winner of the tie would become the first man from their country to reach a grand slam semi-final, but it was last year's Paris Masters finalist Janowicz who powered his way to the win with an incredible 30 aces.

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