Andy Murray performs an epic comeback on Centre Court
Scot recovers from being two sets down against Fernando Verdasco to reach Wimbledon semi-finals
Andy Murray of Britain reacts as he defeats Fernando Verdasco of Spain in their men’s quarter-final tennis match at the Wimbledon. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
The first real heart stopping, fist pumping epic on the big screen was a doubtful pleasure. The pale, haunted face of lead character Andy Murray played out for almost three and a half hours with smoky matinee idol, Fernando Verdasco, in a tale of swinging fortune, one ready made for a giddy Centre Court crowd, all of them hell bent on pouring out their love.
In the backdrop fellow Scot and former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson sat next to his former player Nemanja Vidic, who had arrived in the Royal Box to support Serbian Novak Djokovic, who also won through to the semi-final with a straight set win over Tomas Berdych.
At last year’s US Open Ferguson and actor Sean Connery gate crashed Murray’s semi-final press conference with the manager confessing that he gets more nervous watching the tennis player than he did his football team.
Yesterday bore all the reasons of why that is so as the number two seed came back from two sets down for the seventh time in his career to win 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 over Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.
The championship had been lacking the traditional Wimbledon stamp of biblical comebacks and lurching emotions. Yesterday a venal Murray accommodated all of those. From a wretched player screaming “what the f**k are you doing?” at the gods of tennis after dropping the first two sets, he was the lead act milking applause. It was all exhausting.
Whoever wrote the bold one sided narrative for the first 80 minutes and had Murray drop the first set and then lose the second from 3-1 up before entirely changing the direction for the closing two hours, had drama in mind.
“The second set was a bad set of tennis for me,” said Murray. “I was 3-1 up and made some poor choices on the court and then turned it round. After that I changed tactics, was a bit more patient, didn’t rush and didn’t give him any free points. When you play matches and gain experience, you know how to turn matches around and learn how to change momentum.”
The Spaniard had no form and little reason to be in the quarter-final, never mind pull on British nerves for two sets. Ranked 54 in the world and having lost more matches than he had won this year, his left hand and top spin was always a concern but never a weapon Murray would have envisaged he would struggle to accommodate.