Wimbledon 2011: Andy Murray beats Lopez in last eight

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Wimbledon

Andy Murray eased past Spain's Feliciano Lopez to reach his third successive Wimbledon semi-final and set up another meeting with Rafael Nadal.

The British number one dominated from the outset on Centre Court, winning his quarter-final 6-3 6-4 6-4.

It was an impressive performance and gives Murray another crack at defending champion Nadal, who beat him in the Wimbledon semi-final last year.

World number one Nadal beat Mardy Fish in the last of the quarter-finals.

Lopez had out-served eighth seed Andy Roddick in the third round and the quarter-final looked likely to hinge on the Spaniard's big left-handed serve up against the formidable Murray return.

It was Lopez who felt the early pressure and, despite saving the first break point of the day with a 121mph second serve, he netted a mid-court forehand moments later to hand Murray a 4-2 lead.

Murray was reading the Spaniard's serve brilliantly, taking every opportunity to return fire aggressively, and five of six break points went begging before he closed out the set.

While failing to make any headway on Murray's usually vulnerable second serve, Lopez was well below his best as he made around 50% of first serves and won just 36% of the points on his second serve going into the second set.

When Murray earned a break point at 1-1 in the second, Lopez found a first serve and punched away a high volley to stay on terms, but the pressure told two games later when he netted a simple volley to fall further behind.

It was all going to plan for Murray until a worrying moment at 1-1 in the third set, when the 24-year-old Scot appeared to jar his hip as he changed direction, but it was a forlorn-looking Lopez who called the trainer for the second time for attention to his knee.

There was a flicker of hope for the Spaniard with a rare trip to deuce on the Murray serve at 2-2 but the Briton saw off the danger, and then got the decisive break with a forehand pass down the line on the stretch, followed by another hooked cross-court.

Murray was on course but not moving completely freely now, and his hopes of a swift victory looked in the balance when Lopez finally earned break points at 15-40 in game eight.

But the opportunities were wasted and the world number four closed it out after two hours.

He goes on to face another Spanish left-hander in Nadal, an altogether tougher test.

"I thought it was good," Murray told BBC Sport. "Feliciano looked a little tired and struggled a bit with his movement, but I thought I served well throughout the match.

"I'm playing well - you get pushed more and more as the rounds go on, and I'll have to up my game."

Asked about his movement after the slip early in the third set, he added: "On the grass sometimes your feet can get caught, but I feel alright - I'll just have to wait and see. I'll get treatment for it for sure, but these things happen during Grand Slams."