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Page last updated at 14:06 GMT, Sunday, 29 June 2008 15:06 UK

Murray aims to break new ground

By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Andy Murray
Murray has never got beyond the fourth round in a Grand Slam

British number one Andy Murray aims to reach his first Wimbledon quarter-final when he takes on Richard Gasquet in an action-packed fourth round on Monday.

Murray meets the French eighth seed, who has twice beaten the 21-year-old, in the last match on Centre Court.

Roger Federer's meeting with Lleyton Hewitt, the only other former champion left in the draw, opens play on Centre.

Elsewhere, Venus Williams continues her title defence against Alisa Kleybanova, while Serena faces Bethanie Mattek.

Those matches open play on Court Two, famously dubbed the Graveyard of Champions.

Rafael Nadal is drawn to meet either Murray or Gasquet in the last eight, but the second seed must first get past Mikhail Youzhny in the second match on Court One.

I am enjoying tennis much more, which is something I haven't done for the last couple of years

Andy Murray

That is followed by Marat Safin's potentially explosive match with rising Swiss star Stanislas Wawrinka.

Gasquet has beaten Murray on each of the previous two occasions - the 2007 Paris Masters and the 2006 Toronto Masters.

The Frenchman also reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year, while Murray is yet to get beyond the last 16 at any Grand Slam tournament.

However the British number one believes that he is now far better prepared to go deep into tournaments.

"It's not the easiest thing to get up every morning to put in work to feel like you have a chance to win Grand Slams. I feel like I've done that and need to maintain it for the next few matches," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I am enjoying tennis much more, which is something I haven't done for the last couple of years.

"In the past, I've not been prepared or felt prepared to go deep into the second week and this is for sure the best prepared for a Grand Slam I've ever been."

Murray is Britain's only remaining player in the senior singles draw going into the second week, but 22-year-old Gasquet is confident he can cope with what is likely to be partisan backing for his opponent.

"I like to play these kinds of matches. I don't care if I'm the villain," said Gasquet.

"I'm feeling great, I have no injuries and I'm ready to fight in another match."

Federer continues his pursuit of a sixth straight Wimbledon title as he seeks a 12th straight win over Hewitt.

Despite Federer's dominance, the match is set to be an intriguing encounter with Hewitt the last man to win the title in 2002 before Federer's winning streak began.

"It's always a challenge playing Lleyton," said Federer. "He's a great player, and a guy I really enjoy watching as well.

606: DEBATE
Vidic4ever

Hewitt is nursing a hip injury, which he admitted would have kept him out of any other tournament.

Top seed Ana Ivanovic and former champion Maria Sharapova's exit from the women's draw means things are opening up nicely for the Williams sisters.

Venus, a four-time champion, will face Russian Wimbledon debutant Kleybanova while Serena, winner in 2002 and 2003, meets fellow American Mattek.

But the first all-Williams sisters final at Wimbledon since 2003 could still be on the cards.

"The chances were wonderful, you know, from the beginning, from round one," said Venus. "That's how we see it. The more we progress, obviously the closer it gets."

Jelena Jankovic is the highest seed left in the draw but she strained her knee in her third-round win over Caroline Wozniacki.

The Serb is hoping to be fully fit for her last 16 meeting with Thai Tamarine Tanasugarn, which opens play on Court 18.

Fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova faces Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, who won the Eastbourne title this year, in the second match on Centre Court.

Fellow Russian Anna Chakvetadze is up against Nicole Vaidisova, a quarter-finalist last year, in the opening match on Court One.




see also
Order of play
23 May 08 |  Tennis
Murray powers into fourth round
28 Jun 08 |  Tennis


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