Murray sees off Ferrero for Wimbledon semi spot

LONDON: British third seed Andy Murray beat Spanish wild card Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Murray became only the third British man to reach the Wimbledon semis in the Open era as he defeated the former world number one on Centre Court.

The 22-year-old raced through the quarter-final in an hour and 41 minutes, sending down 18 aces.

The Scot faces either Australia's 2002 Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt or two-time beaten finalist Andy Roddick of the United States on Friday for a place in the final.

"There were quite a lot of errors from both of us at the start," Murray said.

"Once I had got that first set I started to settle down and I returned great in the end.

"I'm going to have a tough match but I feel like I can win if I play well."

Murray is bidding to become the first Briton to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.

Since the Open era began in 1968, only Murray and two other British men have reached the Wimbledon semi-finals. Tim Henman reached the last of his four semis in 2002, while Roger Taylor reached the final four in 1970 and 1973.

Ferrero, the 2003 French Open champion, was the first wild card to reach the last eight since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001. The Croat went on to win the title.

Murray had a gruelling five-set match in the fourth round Monday, beating Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka in the first competitive match to be entirely played under the new Centre Court roof.

Murray had got the better of Ferrero two and a half weeks ago en route to winning Queen's with a 6-2, 6-4 semi-final win.

The 22-year-old had the edge in the first set, even though it went with serve until the Scot broke to make it 7-5 when the Spaniard served up a double fault.

Ferrero, 29, broke back immediately to take the first game of the second set, when Murray hit the net, and held serve for a 2-0 lead.

But Murray broke back, again on a Ferrero double fault, to win the sixth game to love and level matters at 3-3.

Murray broke Ferrero to love again on the Spaniard's next service game, with the Spaniard shooting wide to give his opponent a 5-3 lead.

The Briton sealed the 30-minute set with an ace, winning the game to love, having taken 20 of the set's last 21 points.

The first four games of the third set went with serve, before Murray broke Ferrero with a forehand winner.

The Scot, speeding through the set, held serve then broke Ferrero again, to love, to leave him serving for the match at 5-2.

Murray wasted no time and wrapped up victory when Ferrero returned a serve wide.