Sam Querrey. Picture: SUPPLIED
Sam Querrey. Picture: SUPPLIED

London — Injuries knocked the two top seeds out of Wimbledon on Wednesday with Andy Murray losing to Sam Querrey and Novak Djokovic retiring.

At the same time seven-time champion Roger Federer reached the semifinals for the 12th time with a 6-4 6-2 7-6 (7/4) win over Milos Raonic.

Federer, 35, and playing in his 100th match at the All England Club, will now face 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych for a place in Sunday’s final.

Murray’s Wimbledon title defence ended in a 3-6 6-4 6-7(4) 6-1 6-1 quarterfinal defeat to Querrey as the hip injury that dogged the world No1 in the tournament finally got the better of him.

Later three-times Wimbledon champion Djokovic retired injured during his quarterfinal against Czech Berdych.

The second seed had just lost the opening set and was down a break in the second when he walked to the net and shook Berdych’s hand, having received a medical timeout.

He appeared to be struggling with an arm injury.

Murray, who had only lost to Querrey once in eight previous encounters, was struggling to move around the court in the final two sets against the big-serving US player, who will now face Marin Cilic for a place in the final after the 2014 US Open champion beat Gilles Muller, the conqueror of Rafael Nadal, 3-6 7-6 (8/6) 7-5 5-7 6-1.

 

"I’m still in shock myself," Querrey said after wrapping up victory with his 27th ace. "I didn’t start my best but kept swinging and I hit my groove in the fourth and fifth sets."

Murray raced through the opening set with no sign that his hip was slowing him down, but after being pegged back in the second, he grimaced in pain in the third when the Querrey hit a backhand winner at 4-5.

Murray claimed that set on a tiebreak, but Querrey won nine games in a row to take the fourth set 6-1 and open up a 3-0 lead in the fifth. Querrey, who beat then defending champion Novak Djokovic in 2016, broke again for a 5-1 lead in the fifth and then wrapped up the match with a booming ace to become the first US player to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since Andy Roddick at Wimbledon in 2009.

Muller’s unlikely Wimbledon run was halted by Croatian Cilic. Muller was an unexpected presence in the last eight after he pulled off a surprise, five-set win over Nadal in the fourth round.

A day off ensured decent recovery time from the nearly five-hour battle with Nadal, which included a fifth set that lasted more than two hours.

And Muller, the journeyman who had not even won a regular ATP Tour event until 2016, succeeded in carrying his inspired form against the Spaniard into this last eight contest.

Muller broke in the seventh game with a powerful drive down the line, shouting out his delight as he sensed another upset could be on the agenda.

He broke again to win the set when Cilic went wide with a return. Cilic was not rattled though and he went into the second set tie-break looking strong, taking advantage of a double-fault from Miller at 6-6, securing set point with a fantastic cross-court winner. The third set was another tight affair and again it was an unforced error from Muller which gave Cilic the upper hand. Serving to stay in the set, Muller was broken to love, the final point a volley into the net.

The clever serve and volley play and the ice-cool demeanour that put paid to Nadal’s hopes, had gone but Muller was not ready to leave for his home in Leudelange just yet.

Cilic’s serve was firing dangerously but Muller struck to go 6-5 up, breaking with a fine cross-court winner and uncharacteristically dancing across to his chair. He regained his composure quickly and calmly served out for the set but his revival was short-lived.

Cilic broke Muller’s first service in the deciding set and the resistance crumbled, the Croat charging through the games to win the final set 6-1.

Reuters

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