Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fans Have Finally Fallen for Murray; (1) on the Run: Andy Murray Covers Every Inch of Centre Court during His Thrilling Victory (2) Stretching Belief: Andy Murray Makes Another Remarkable Return as Richard Gasquet Suffers the Highs and Lows during a Rollercoaster of a Match

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Fans Have Finally Fallen for Murray; (1) on the Run: Andy Murray Covers Every Inch of Centre Court during His Thrilling Victory (2) Stretching Belief: Andy Murray Makes Another Remarkable Return as Richard Gasquet Suffers the Highs and Lows during a Rollercoaster of a Match

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones

AS THE digital clock on the scoreboard reached 9.30pm the ghostly whitefigure at the far end of Centre Court raised his arms aloft and was suddenlyengulfed in a blaze of flashlights.

Everyone present wanted to capture the moment when Andy Murray arrived as aBritish tennis icon.

It was the end of three hours and 57 minutes of one of the most amazing matchesin the history of this wonderful championships.

The green and yellow numbers on that scoreboard showed Murray had won 5-7, 3-6,7-6, 6-2, 6-4 against eighth seed Richard Gasquet, but there was so much moreto this fourth-round contest than mere statistics.

It was a marvellous rollercoaster of a ride that would normally have beenhalted long before the final point was won because, in truth, it was just toodark to see.

Gasquet, who had total control of the match until the third-set tie break,repeatedly asked for the umpire to end the match.

But there would have been a riot if that had been the official's decision andFrenchman Gasquet had no option but to keep playing in the forlorn hope thatMurray would falter and he could somehow tie the fifth set at 5-5.

At that point they would have come off court. But Murray knew he had one lastchance to make it into his first Grand Slam quarter-final and go toeto-toe withRafael Nadal, who has appeared in the last two Wimbledon finals.

The British No1 has got that wish and will have the entire nation backing hisbid to become our first men's singles champion since Fred Perry in 1936.

Even Perry would have struggled to generate more noise from the crowd at theend of the match as the 15,000 fans forgot their early indifferencegenerated by Gaquet's brilliant shot making in the opening two setsand opted for collective delirium.

There was even support for Murray from two groups of Australian fans who hadbeen cheering on Lleyton Hewitt earlier in the day.

It really was that kind of night on Centre Court when old prejudicesmainly held about Murraywere forgotten as the fans became totally caught up in a match that will livelong in the memory of everyone present and those watching on television.

Gasquet, who looked awesome in the first half of the match with hisprecision-like power hitting, served for the victory at 5-4 in the third, onlyto be broken and he never mentally recovered from that hammer blow.

Even when the match was over, the unique nature of the contest continued asMurray turned up for his press conference clutching a large container of sushi.

He proceeded to answer questions while using a pair of chop sticks anddevouring pieces of food with the concentration and relish that had allowed himto produce so many winners on Centre Court.

Indigestion appeared to be his only enemy as he headed back to his Wandsworthflat and much needed sleep in preparation for tomorrow's huge quarter-finalwith clay court king Nadal, a player Murray has never beaten in three previousattempts. …

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