Golden moments inspire Murray to victory

Andy Murray was inspired by Britain’s golden Olympic moments as he stayed on course for a medal of his own with a battling display against Marcos Baghdatis to reach the men’s singles quarter-finals at Wimbledon yesterday.

The third seed watched Britain’s first two golds of the Games in rowing and cycling, with Bradley Wiggins’s stunning time-trial victory coming just before he walked on court.

Things did not go to plan for Murray at the start yesterday as he was twice broken to lose a nervy opening set but he turned things around in the second and was rarely troubled in the decider to come through 4-6 6-1 6-4.

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He said: “I saw the rowing right before I went on to practice and I saw the cycling right before I went onto the match court. When you watch it, it’s extra motivation to go out there and you want to try to be part of that success for the team.

“But it’s easy when you see someone win a gold, you want to go out and do the same thing. If you think too far ahead, it can mess you up a little bit.

“So I am watching all the sport because I love it but I’m trying to make sure I don’t get ahead of myself because I really want to do well here.”

Murray and Baghdatis had met in the third round of Wimbledon a month ago in a match that will be remembered for finishing at 11.02pm, the latest in the tournament’s history and two minutes after the curfew.

But what may have been forgotten is that Baghdatis, who loves both grass and the big stage, was close to taking a two-sets-to-one lead and had Murray in serious trouble.

He showed the same form in the first set yesterday while Murray struggled with the windy conditions and looked tentative and somewhat out of sorts.

The key moment came when Baghdatis dumped an easy forehand in the net to hand Murray a break for 3-1 in the second, and from there the 25-year-old grew in confidence.

He wrapped up victory in an hour and 59 minutes with a forehand winner, letting out a huge roar as he booked a last-eight meeting with Spanish 11th seed Nicolas Almagro.

World No 1 Roger Federer is through to the quarter-finals after seeing off Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 7-5 6-3. Eighth seed Juan Martin Del Potro also reached the last eight despite dropping a set to 12th seed Gilles Simon, the Argentinian prevailing 6-1 4-6 6-3, while 11th seed Nicolas Almagro from Spain beat Steve Darcis 7-5 6-3.

Wimbledon champion Serena Williams cemented her status as the favourite for Olympic singles gold with a crushing 6-1 6-0 victory over Russia’s Vera Zvonareva to reach the quarter-finals.

But sister Venus Williams lost 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/5) to seventh seed Angelique Kerber.

Kim Clijsters defeated 11th seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 6-3 6-4.