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Murray mania to bring roof down

sports Updated: Jun 27, 2011 01:29 IST

Reuters
Highlight Story

Richard Gasquet might spend his day off on Sunday tracking down a pair of earplugs in Wimbledon Village in preparation for his tantalising fourth-round showdown with Andy Murray.

Three years ago the duo also clashed at the All England Club at the same stage and the one abiding memory Gasquet has of that encounter is the deafening roar that greeted every winning shot produced by Murray.

"I remember the crowd were very impressive. We're told all the time, the English, Wimbledon, it's quiet. But it was incredible. A lot people were cheering for him," the Frenchman recalled of the tussle which he ended up losing in five sets.

"I remember the third and the fourth and the fifth set it was very difficult for me to play, because there was a lot of noise." http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/27_06_pg19a.jpg

If Gasquet thought the noise was unbearable three years ago, his eardrums might burst on Monday when 15,000 hollering fans on Centre Court, along will the rest of Britain, will be backing Murray to get one step closer to ending the home nation's 75-year wait for a men's champion.

World no.4 Murray, at least, has fond memories from their last grasscourt meeting as he fashioned one of his greatest comebacks from two-sets down.

"That was probably the first one that really was a big comeback from me," the Scot said recalling the 5-7, 3-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4 win. "I think there was a lot of sort of interaction with the crowd. They really got behind me. It makes a big difference."

Since that win, Murray has shot up the rankings and contested three grand slam finals while Gasquet has failed to live up to his immense talent.

Del Potro test
With his clubbing flat forehand and big serve, former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro has all the tools to provide Rafael Nadal with his first stern test in the defence of his Wimbledon crown on Monday.

The giant Argentine, who stands 1.98 metres tall, climbed to fourth in the world rankings after his US Open triumph in 2009 before a wrist injury that required surgery forced him to miss almost all of last year. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/27_06_pg19c.jpg

But the 22-year-old has worked his way back to form and fitness and has an all-round game with the potential to derail Nadal's bid for an 11th grand slam title.

"I think he has a good serve and very good shots from the baseline, I think he's a complete player," Nadal, who is chasing a third Wimbledon crown, said on Saturday.

"It is always is a big challenge to play against him. He's a very tough opponent and one of the best players of the world."