Andy Murray wary of complacency after reaching Wimbledon quarters

Andy Murray admitted on Monday night that the ongoing shocks at this year's Wimbledon would act as a warning against complacency after he moved into the quarter-finals.

It took slightly longer than is traditional but Murray was left on Monday as the last British player standing on a Centre Court still reverberating to the earlier upset of Serena Williams.

The reigning champion, who had won her last 34 matches, lost to the German Sabine Lisicki 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 and afterwards appeared at a loss to explain a defeat that ranked as an even bigger surprise than the abrupt exit of Roger Federer last week.

Murray, meanwhile, marched into the last eight for the sixth successive year and has not dropped a set as fellow top-rank seeds fell around him. The Scot was not at his best against Mikhail Youzhny and had to work hard to extricate himself from a second set in which he found himself 2-5 down. The Russian 20th seed was unable to capitalise, however, and after winning the tie-break Murray let out a defiant roar and urged the crowd to back him at ever greater volume as he cruised to a 6-4, 7-6, 6-1 victory. But he said the series of shocks, which had created a "strange" atmosphere last week, and the surprise exit of Williams acted as a stark warning.

"When those sort of results can happen to a player as good as her, there's absolutely no reason why it can't happen to me. That's why I'm not getting ahead of myself and no one else should," he said.

"I was pretty pumped up, especially after I won the second set. It was an important set, as well, because obviously I was up a break, then down a break. That was a big set to win."

The No2 seed was pleased with the way he dug in to turn around a situation that looked to be getting away from him and, earlier in his career, might have caused him to unravel. He said he rated the pressure he was under at "seven or eight" out of 10 now that he was in the familiar position of being the last British player in the singles draw.

"I think I've dealt with it well over my career. I mean, I've played well at Wimbledon. It's been consistently my best slam over the course of my career," he said. "That's partly down to the surface and partly down to enjoying playing in front of a home crowd and being able to kind of block everything else out."

Murray said he was taking extra care of his body after he was forced to miss out on the French Open with a back injury but said that the occasional twinge was no cause for concern.

Williams was a strong favourite to win the title, particularly after the retirement of Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova's exit. But in the greatest shock yet of a tournament full of them she was defeated by the imperious German, who played the game of her life to overpower the five-time champion in three sets.

Asked to pinpoint what went wrong, Williams said she had been unable to take the game to Lisicki. "I don't know. I definitely had my opportunities and I didn't take them. I definitely feel like I would try at some points, then maybe I backed off a little bit at some points," said the 31-year-old.

Williams tried to claim that the result was not a shock: "She plays really good on grass. She has a massive, massive serve. It's definitely not a shock. I just need to do better."

Lisicki will now face Kaia Kanepi, the Estonian who overcame Laura Robson, the last British woman left in the main draw. Following her narrow 7-6, 7-5 defeat Robson's demeanour was, understandably, in stark contrast to the jokey confidence that endeared her to the media and public during her run to the fourth round.

But as the 19-year-old reflected on becoming the first British woman for 15 years to make it into the second week amid snowballing public support, she said the experience had been "overwhelming" and "crazy but in a good way".

Visibly upset – she had been on the verge of tears as she left the court – Robson admitted she was "really, really disappointed". "I had chances here and there and I just didn't take them," she said, perhaps reflecting on her opportunity to take the first set, firstly serving when a break up and then in a tie-break in which she led 5-2.

Robson's disappointment was more pronounced than when she went out in the fourth round of the US Open last year to Sam Stosur, she said.

"At the US Open last year I was just kind of happy to be there. Today I went out and really thought I had a chance of winning. And, you know, I was feeling confident going into the match."

For Murray, who will play Fernando Verdasco in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, a possible final with Novak Djokovic awaits.

Powered by article was written by Owen Gibson at Wimbledon, for The Guardian on Monday 1st July 2013 22.53 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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