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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 14 December, 2018

Murray shines as rain continues to hamper Wimbledon rivals

Stan Wawrinka in particular is not happy with his lot.

A happy Andy Murray.
A happy Andy Murray.
Image: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

DEFENDING CHAMPION ANDY MURRAY reached his seventh successive Wimbledon quarter-final Monday with a straight sets demolition of Kevin Anderson under the Centre Court roof while torrential rain brought more chaos to his rivals.

Third-seeded Murray defeated the big-serving South African 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) with 11 aces and 49 winners and next faces either Bulgarian 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov or Leonardo Mayer of Argentina for a place in the semi-finals.

Dimitrov was a set and a break to the good against the world number 64 when rain sent the players off Court One.

The 23-year-old Dimitrov is bidding to become the first Bulgarian man to make the Wimbledon last-eight.

Just as on Saturday, rain brought a lengthy stoppage in the afternoon with more than 30 matches — doubles and juniors — cancelled until Tuesday.

All last-16 men’s and women’s matches are traditionally played on the second Monday but six had already been held over for 24 hours as a knock-on effect of Saturday’s deluge.

Stan Wawrinka was stunned that he had to play his third round tie, one of Saturday’s victims, on Monday in a scheduling nightmare which will force him to play five matches in seven days if he is to win the title.

The third-seeded Australian Open champion defeated Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the fourth round for the first time since 2009.

Wawrinka will now play his fourth round on Tuesday against 19th seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain who also waited until Monday to see off John Isner, the ninth seeded American, 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3), 7-5.

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka is not happy with his Wimbledon schedule. Source: EMPICS Sport/EMPICS Sport

Victory on Tuesday would mean a quarter-final on Wednesday before getting back on schedule for semi-final day on Friday and a potential final date on Sunday.

“I was disappointed. I was expecting them to move matches, move maybe juniors or doubles, to make my match or Isner/Lopez’s match first on when they started at 5pm or 6pm again when it stop raining,” said Wawrinka.

“But you cannot do anything. They do what they want and you just follow. They don’t listen to the player. They just do what they think is good for them.”

He added: “I was surprised because (after the rain) it was a perfect day to finish. They said for security reason, they didn’t want to put our match on a small court. But (Kei) Nishikori (the 10th seed) was playing on small courts.”

In the remaining third round match to be completed, Nishikori saw off Italian lucky loser Simone Bolelli 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 after the pair had finished 3-3 in the decider on Saturday.

In his maiden last-16 appearance, Nishikori will face Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic on Tuesday.

US at new low

Isner’s defeat to Lopez meant that no America man or woman had reached the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time since 1911.

Later Monday, top seed Novak Djokovic, the 2011 champion and runner-up to Murray 12 months ago, takes on flamboyant Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a semi-finalist in 2011 and 2012.

Djokovic has a 12-5 winning record over Tsonga, including the 2011 last-four at Wimbledon as well as the quarter-finals of the 2012 Olympics which were also played at the All England Club.

Djokovic or Tsonga will play Croatian 26th seed Marin Cilic for a place in the semi-finals.

Cilic reached the quarter-finals for the first time with a 7-6 (10/8), 6-4, 6-4 win over France’s Jeremy Chardy.

Cilic, coached by 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, missed the 2013 tournament before serving a six-month drugs ban.

“Last year I felt that I was in a pretty good form. I don’t know if that comes with playing several years on grass, but year after year I was feeling better and better,” said Cilic, who had defeated sixth seeded Tomas Berdych in the third round.

“Over here I think we had really good preparation week before Wimbledon, and it’s paying off in the matches.”

 - © AFP, 2014

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