British tennis fans were left relieved at the end of a dramatic day nine of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships as Andy Murray battled his way into the last four.
"He's a great player, an unbelievably hard worker and sometimes he doesn't get enough respect," was Murray's post-match assessment of David Ferrer. Anyone who watched their four hour marathon quarter-final encounter could not help but be filled with admiration for the Spaniard who just kept coming back time and time again and left everything he had out on Centre Court. Long gone are the days where Ferrer was regarded as merely a clay-court specialist. On that display he would have pushed anyone to the limit on this surface.
But Murray dug deep and somehow found something extra to win 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 6-4, 7-6(4) and set up a semi-final tie with the flamboyant Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Tsonga was not at his best today and very nearly paid for it but he ultimately had just too much for a spirited Philipp Kohlschreiber, competing in his first Grand Slam quarter-final.
While those two clashes had enough drama to keep the crowd entertained into the early evening, both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were on and off court in the blink of an eye. After 13 losses to the Swiss maestro, few had much hope for Mikhail Youzhny ahead of his clash with Federer but no one expected it to be such a one-sided rout; Federer rolling back the years with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 victory.
Djokovic was in trouble at times early on against Florian Mayer but once he got to grips with the German's unorthodox style there was only going to be 1 winner and the defending champion came through 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.