|Britain’s hopes at Wimbledon ended last night after Andy Murray was defeated in three straight sets by Spain’s Rafael Nadal in a quarterfinal contest that attracted more betting than any other tennis match in history.|
The Scottish player staged a stirring comeback on Monday against Richard Gasquet to reach the last eight but appeared weary in front of a packed Centre Court crowd and lasted only one hour and 55 minutes. Murray went into Wednesday’s competition as the underdog with WillHill.com listing him at odds of 11/4 while the Spaniard was favourite at 1/4.
Nadal will now meet Germany’s Rainer Schuettler or France’s Arnaud Clement, who had their match postponed due to fading light after almost two hours of play. Schuettler took the first set 6-3 but Clement rebounded during a tense second set to triumph 7-5. Both competitors are 300/1 to win the London tournament with SportingBet.com while Nadal has climbed to 11/10 with PaddyPower.com.
On the other side of the draw, defending champion and 9/10 favourite Roger Federer made short work of Mario Ancic, the last man to defeat him at Wimbledon, with a crushing 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 victory.
Federer emerged from a rain delay in sizzling form, wrapping up the opening set in just 20 minutes while Ancic, who had played 14 sets in his previous three matches, put up a better fight in the second only to drop his serve crucially at five games each.
The top seed is yet to drop a set in the tournament and will now face former world number one Marat Safin, who defeated Feliciano Lopez, on Friday. The Russian, a two-time Grand Slam winner himself, is listed at odds of 12/2 to make it to the final on Sunday with WillHill.com while Nadal is 1/16 on PaddyPower.com.
'I'm playing great, serving excellent,' said Federer, who landed 76 percent of his first serves and has not faced a single break point.