Champion Murray in a hurry on Center Court

Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:13pm EDT
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By Clare Lovell

LONDON (Reuters) - Young gun Grigor Dimitrov stands between Andy Murray and the Wimbledon semi-finals and the champion is clearly wary of the Bulgarian he describes as "coming into his prime".

The Briton, who beat big-serving South African Kevin Anderson on Monday, has enjoyed a smooth run into the second week, playing within himself to reach the quarter-finals without dropping a set.

But the 23-year-old Dimitrov, on a nine-match grasscourt winning streak, provides an extra challenge for the twice grand slam champion.

"It's a step up...the guys in the quarter-finals are going to be playing top tennis. He obviously won at Queen's Club a couple of weeks ago. He likes grass courts," Murray told reporters.

"He's starting to come into his prime. He's won a lot of matches this year. It'll be a hard match for me."

Murray neutralized Anderson to win 6-4 6-3 7-6 (6) in a match that started in the open and ended under the Center Court roof.

The 27-year-old Scot returned sharply and drew the 2.03-metre (6-foot-8) Anderson into rallies to impose his game on the Wimbledon grass where he is on a run of 17 successive victories.

Anderson, a career-high 18th in the world, broke serve only once, after rain forced a roof-closing pause with Murray 3-0 up in the second set.   Continued...

Andy Murray of Britain throws his sweatband into the crowd after defeating Kevin Anderson of South Africa in their men's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 30, 2014.               REUTERS/Toby Melville