Andy Murray is moving closer to the possible end of an era, with the Scot just two wins away from erasing Britain’s 74-year wait for a men’s singles champion at Wimbledon.
But the fourth seed has it all to play for in his Friday semifinal against 2008 champion Rafael Nadal, who holds a 7-3 lead in their career series but quit injured in their last match at the Australian Open quarterfinals five months ago.
Murray, still without a title this season and trying to duck the steadily rising home pressure, is concentrating strictly on his match-up with the world number one.
“Nadal’s playing great. He’s playing the best tennis of his career,” he said.
Platitudes aside, Murray also believes in his own chances to become the first Briton since Fred Perry in 1936 to lift the trophy.
His semifinal at the All England Club of a year ago, where he lost to Andy Roddick, will be a useful memory as he tries to take it farther this time.
“Last year I obviously played well going into the semi, but this is a completely different match.
“I think Nadal would definitely be the favourite with his results here the last few years. He didn’t get a chance to defend his title last year (knee injury), but he’s played three finals in a row and now he’s in the semis here.
“Psychologically I need to believe that I can win the match.
That’s the most important thing,” said the losing Melbourne finalist to Roger Federer.
Nadal, at rest over his occasional knee problems, is not expecting an easy day.
“I know I’m gonna have a difficult match against Andy. But I’m ready to try my best and for try for sure to be in this final,” said the Spaniard.