Andy Murray beats David Ferrer to reach Wimbledon semi-finals

By David OrnsteinBBC Sport at Wimbledon

Andy Murray produced a superb fightback to grind down David Ferrer and reach a fourth successive Wimbledon semi-final.

The Scot battled from a set and a break down to come through 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in three hours and 52 minutes on Centre Court.

Murray, seeded four, took revenge on the seventh seed, who had beaten him in the quarter-finals of the French Open.external-link

Murray will continue his bid for a maiden Grand Slam title against fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday.

No British man has won a major since Fred Perry landed the Wimbledon and the US Open titles in 1936, but Murray has now made at least the semi-finals at six of the last seven Grand Slams.

Murray, ranked fourth in the world, was given his sternest test so far this fortnight and, despite a disappointing start, kept calm to prevail quite brilliantly.

He raised his arms in celebration after serving out with ace number 18, an apt way to cap a display that combined skill, intelligence and composure in equal measure.

"It was a very tough match, a long match, a lot of tight moments," Murray told BBC Sport. "He's a great player and sometimes doesn't get enough respect.

"I've known him a long time and he's an unbelievably hard worker."

But it would have required more than hard work to beat Murray in this form and a rain delay late in the fourth set merely delayed the inevitable.

The crowd cheered Murray throughout, and their support was never needed more by the Scot than after the first set.

He was immediately made aware of the task as Ferrer, nicknamed "The Wall" and "Roadrunner", registered break points in games two and four.

Murray served his way out of trouble on the first occasion, but there would be no reprieve in his next service game when he put a forehand into the net.

While a crosscourt backhand pass prevented Ferrer serving out at 5-3, Murray's forehand let him down in the tie-break.

The British number one looked in huge trouble when he dinked a backhand drop shot wide to leave Ferrer serving for a two-set lead.

However, the Spaniard's groundstrokes faltered and Murray fought back from 5-3 down in the tie-break to level the match.

The home favourite continued to flirt with danger early in the third set, but time and again his serve proved the most trusting of weapons.

Murray gradually began to dictate the tempo and he led for the first time when Ferrer miscued a backhand to fall 5-4 behind.

A love hold wrapped up the set and both men saved two break points midway through the fourth set before drizzle started falling at 19:00 BST.

Fortunately, there was no need for the roof and, after returning at 19:20, both men comfortably held serve to force a third tie-break.

A stunning backhand down the line helped Ferrer into a 4-3 lead, but a flurry of aces was enough to send Murray into the last four.