July 12, 2017
Andy Murray’s injury problems finally got the better of him, as the powerful American, Sam Querrey, defeated the Wimbledon champion 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4-7) 6-1, 6-1.
The Brit played with flare and panache in the opening set and only appeared to lose concentration momentarily as he was broken in the second.
Once again, Murray appeared to resume control as he took emphatic command of the third-set tie-break, cruising to a 6-1 advantage.
Even though Querrey made the breaker scoreline respectable in the end, he didn’t appear to have enough to trouble Murray in the long run.
But perhaps we had forgotten that Querrey counted the great Novak Djokovic among his Wimbledon victims last year, and the Californian isn’t short of confidence, even when he is up against it.
Perhaps sensing that Murray’s fitness was more fragile than we had all thought, Querrey focused to execute an early break in the fourth set.
This time, Murray wasn’t able to take back control of the match. The hip problem that had plagued him before the tournament, the one we dared to hope he had overcome, returned with a vengeance.
The fifth set was equally one-sided as the underdog seized the day and never left Murray a glimmer of hope.
It really seemed as though Murray wasn’t just fighting Querrey. He was battling against his hip, against the lack of all-round fitness his injury had created in the first place, against the pressure of being champion and being highly fancied for the final.
You had to credit the American’s ruthlessness, though. He showed no mercy and came up with his best tennis as he went for the jugular and saw his chance to progress to his first Grand Slam semi-final.
Murray would not blame him for that, or his moment of triumph, not for a second. Querrey admitted: ‘I’m still in a bit of shock. I didn’t start my best. I kept swinging away.
‘Everything seemed to be falling my way. It feels great. I’m going to enjoy this one a little bit tomorrow and have an easy day tomorrow.’
As for the Wimbledon faithful, they still have a Brit in Jo Konta to cheer. And if Roger Federer wins through, they will support the world’s most popular player as though he were one of their own.