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British fans give Murray loudest cheer yet
Sonia Oxley | July 01, 2008 11:14 IST
Andy Murray won over the Wimbledon Centre Court crowd on Monday with the sort of nail-biting finale that British fans used to enjoy from favourite Tim Henman. Murray had not witnessed the type of adoration the now retired Henman inspired at the All England [Images] Club but after watching the Scot pull back from the brink of defeat to beat Richard Gasquet, the fans seemed converted.
"You know, the crowd were awesome," Murray told a news conference after sealing his quarter-final spot with a 5-7, 3-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over the Frenchman.
"After that, the whole tiebreak, the fourth and fifth sets, once I got ahead ... they got behind me, I mean, more than they ever have before."
After sailing through the third set tiebreak, in which he unleashed a killer backhand that had both him and the fans screaming, Murray said the thousands cheering and jumping to their feet in the stands had helped him build on the momentum.
"I think to finish the set like that really got the crowd going. It shifted the momentum hugely, and I think his head went down a little bit for a few games after that shot (the backhand)," Murray said between mouthfuls of sushi eaten expertly with chopsticks.
Henman had his fair share of dramatic matches at the grasscourt grand slam, including five setters against Goran Ivanisevic in the 2001 semi-final (which he eventually lost) and Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the 1996 first round (which he won).
Murray, who will face second seed Rafael Nadal [Images] in the last eight, celebrated winning Monday's match by flexing his muscles, a gesture he said was to show his fitness trainers how much he had been working out. "I've been putting in so much work off the court, you know, that it was the first time this year I've really had the chance to show it," the 21-year-old said.
"I just wanted to show that ... there is some muscle there."
(Editing by Clare Lovell )