Andy Murray beats Nicolas Almagro to reach Olympic semis
Last updated on .From the section Olympics
Andy Murray is within touching distance of an Olympic singles medal after beating Spain's Nicolas Almagro to make the semi-finals at Wimbledon.
The Scot broke serve in game five of the first set and never looked back, winning 6-4 6-1 in front of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Court One.
Murray plays Novak Djokovic on Friday after he overcame Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Murray later partnered Laura Robson to victory over Radek Stepanek and Lucie Hradecka in the mixed doubles.
The British pair beat their Czech opponents 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 10-7 and will play Australia's Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur in the quarter-finals in the last match on Court One on Friday.
In the singles Murray will play for either the gold or bronze medal on Sunday, depending on the result of his meeting with Djokovic.
On current form, he will be confident of competing for the gold.
"I know how much I care about the Olympics and how much I want to do well here," said Murray, who meets Djokovic third on Centre Court.
"I want to try to win a medal, be part of the team and try and help Britain's medal count if I can. I've really enjoyed it so far. I hope I can go one better on Friday and get a medal."
Murray was runner-up at Wimbledon on 8 July and looks determined to secure his place his second final of the summer at the All England Club.
He dispatched Almagro in just 59 minutes and made it clear how much this event means to him with an excited celebration.
Despite dropping a set in Wednesday's Murray has outclassed all of his opponents so far.
But he was gifted the early initiative against Almagro when the 11th seed hit a double-fault on break point at 2-2.
Murray moved to 5-3 thanks to four aces and wrapped up the 34-minute first set to a huge ovation from the partisan crowd.
An out-of-sorts Almagro received treatment for a right shoulder problem at the changeover but it did little to improve his mood.
Murray broke easily with a crosscourt forehand winner at the start of the second set and consolidated it with a love hold.
His only moment of angst came in game four when two double-faults gave Almagro 30-30, but a precise forehand averted the danger.
Another crosscourt forehand then gave Murray the double-break for 4-1 and he completed the win when Almagro found the net.
Next up is Djokovic after the Serbian saw off France's Tsonga 6-1 7-5.
"Andy is the home hero and he played the final at Wimbledon," said the world number two, who in the Australian Open semi-finals.
"We are all aware of his quality as in the last two or three years he has played four Grand Slam finals and he has been at the top of the men's game for many years.
"He has been playing better than ever on grass courts. I will have to be at the top of my game."
In the other men's singles semi-final,