Wimbledon 2015: Murray marches on 'like a herring gull'
Scot 'dismembers' Pospisil to book a sixth Wimbledon semi-final berth
Andy Murray roared into his sixth Wimbledon semi-final with a straight-sets victory over unseeded Canadian Vasek Pospisil in front of a star-studded Centre Court crowd.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and David Beckham were in the crowd as Murray cruised through 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 to set up a last four encounter with Roger Federer tomorrow.
The match was twice interrupted by rain and the roof on Centre Court was closed during the second set and remained shut for the rest of the match.
Although the result was convincing, Murray did not have it all his own way against the big-serving World No.56, who was playing in his first Grand Slam quarter-final.
He was put under pressure by an opponent who was still agile at the net despite playing three five set matches and the doubles during this Wimbledon.
Perhaps, unsurprisingly, Pospisil was twice warned for time violations and on the second occasion lost his first serve.
But for all that Murray, the third seed, was ruthless and efficient when he needed to be and that was illustrated by the fact Pospisil engineered just one break point - and that was in the final game.
Now Murray, 28, must prepare for a mouth-watering clash against Federer, the seven times champion, who secured his place in the last four with an elegant 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 victory France's Gilles Simon.
Federer was broken for the first time in 68 service games at Wimbledon this year near the end of the second set but that was his only slip.
Murray, who has now reached his 17th Grand Slam semi-final, trails Federer 12-11 in head-to-heads but did beat him in the Olympic final on Centre Court in 2012.
The Scot is hoping the Wimbledon crowd back him against the hugely popular Federer.
He said: "I hope I get good support on Friday. It's been the case throughout the whole event and every year that I played here. Roger's extremely popular everywhere he goes, so it might not be as partisan a crowd or atmosphere as some matches that I play here. But it will still be an excellent atmosphere. I'll still get a boost from the crowd, I'm sure."
Matthew Syed, in his column in The Times, draws an evocative conclusion. "Watching Andy Murray playing Vasek Pospisil on Centre Court yesterday served as a reminder of the herring gull and the crab," he muses. "The Scot did not massacre his quarry with a single blow or with a lethal weapon. He hit few outright winners, served few aces, and rarely hit a baseline shot with the kind of murderous intent that draws gasps from the crowd. Instead, he slowly and patiently dismembered a player who, on the surface at least, had looked rather impenetrable.
"Murray kept the rallies going, deliberately slowing the ball down to induce longer exchanges. He served wide to the forehand, to open up the court, and test Pospisil's legs. He probed deeper and deeper into the soft centre of Pospisil's game."
In the other quarter-finals, Frenchman Richard Gasquet won a five set thriller against French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4,11-9.
Gasquet now meets defending champion Novak Djokovic who crushed Marin Cilic to secure his place in the last four.
The Serbian top seed, who needed five sets over two days in the last round to see off Kevin Anderson, wasted little energy this time and cruised through 6-4 6-4 6-4.
Gasquet, who last reached the semi-finals in 2007, has lost 12 of his 13 matches against Djokovic but said: "It will be tough but I'm happy with how I've played.
"I'll try to play my best again against the best player in the world."