A frustrated Gasquet took an extended toilet break at the end of the fourth set, and complained about the noise of the crowd (er, you’re playing a Brit at Wimbledon in the fourth round, what did you expect?) and the diminishing light. Play went on, however. Murray broke and held to go 2-0 up, despite Gasquet’s best efforts. Murray had chances to break to make it 5-2, but Gasquet held on by the skin of his teeth.
Murray came out to serve for the match at 5-4 around 9.30pm in near-darkness, and where Gasquet had failed, Murray succeeded. After almost four hours, the first two of which did not bode well, Murray made it to his first Grand Slam quarter-final, beating a player against which he has never won before. Let us pray that he can continue this trend on Wednesday against Nadal. Surely there’s room for another shock exit.
It was the most nerve-shredding, sweat-inducing, exhilarating match of the tournament; but those on Centre Court, (sorry, Tim) Murray Mount, and the rest of the nation who had come out from behind the sofa to perch on the edges of armchairs like myself thought it was worth it. Some of those on Murray Mount had left near the end of the third set: they’ll be kicking themselves now.
After his astonishing victory, Murray even managed to smile, and well he might. He also rolled up his right shirt sleeve and clenched his fist to show off his now rather impressive bicep and emphasise how much work he has put into his game.
Murray was sure to have a good sleep last night. After such a physical match accompanied by very enthusiastic celebrations which even his former critics found impossible not to respond to; in his post-match interview he was as calm and collected as he has been for the duration of the tournament. That is more than can be said for those who watched the match. Paradoxically it was almost unbelievable that he had won; yet at the same time, we never quite believed that he would lose.