LONDON (Reuters) - Andy Murray dodged rain showers to rush to complete a 7-5 6-2 6-3 win over Croatian Marin Cilic and reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Tuesday.
The fourth-seeded Briton had been leading by one set and 3-1 40-0 in the second when rain ended Monday’s play and was clearly in no mood to hang around.
He got to 4-2 in the six minutes of play before the covers went on once more and, after 51 minutes off court again, returned with all guns blazing, holding to love and breaking 16th seed Cilic to take the second set.
As sporadic showers continued to bother Court One, Murray sprang eagerly from his chair at changeovers and was already jogging into position to play when the umpire called time.
Only once more did the rain get serious enough for the umpire to climb down from his perch but this time officials and the two players, sheltering under umbrellas, waited it out and play resumed after four minutes.
Murray, burdened with a nation’s hopes that he might become the first British man to reach the Wimbledon final since 1938, raced to 4-1 up, hitting three aces in the fifth game.
Queen’s Club winner Cilic, who had come through the second-longest match in Wimbledon history when he beat American Sam Querrey in the previous round, saved four breakpoints to hold in a long sixth game.
Murray, however, dropped only one more point in the match, and finished off with a love game to book a last-eight place against David Ferrer of Spain, who beat Argentine Juan Martin del Potro 6-3 6-2 6-3 on Centre Court.
Murray had no complaints about being exposed to the elements on Court One, while seventh seed Ferrer and Del Potro were protected under the Centre Court roof.
“I don’t deserve to play all my matches on Centre Court,” the Scot told a news conference.
“It’s not a bad thing playing on the outside court; it’s just when the conditions are bad it’s not ideal to be out there because matches can last for two, three days, and then you get a backlog.
“But I don’t think just because you’re from that country you should necessarily get preferential treatment, but I hope that I play my next few matches on Centre.”
Murray was asked how he felt about meeting Ferrer, who beat him on clay in the French Open quarter-finals last month.
“This year he’s playing his best tennis, I think, of his career,” he said. “I just need to make sure I play well tomorrow and see what the outcome is.”
Editing by Ed Osmond