LONDON (Reuters) - Andy Murray overcame a first-set wobble to keep alive his hopes of a fourth Queen’s Club title with a 3-6 7-6 (2) 6-4 quarter-final victory over Luxembourg giant-killer Gilles Muller at the Aegon Championships on Friday.
A day after Muller felled 2014 champion Grigor Dimitrov, the big-serving left hander looked to be on the verge of another shock as he overwhelmed the British top seed in the first set with some bullet-like serving before the pair went toe-to-toe in the second.
However, a misfired smash that flew wide in the tiebreak appeared to take the fight out of Muller and Murray levelled the contest to the delight of the cheering crowd at the pre-Wimbledon grasscourt event.
The Scot gave the partisan fans plenty more to cheer about when he broke Muller in the opening game of the third set and made sure he did not relinquish his advantage.
Muller saved Murray’s first match point with an ace but in the next game the 2013 Wimbledon champion brought up his second match point with a running crosscourt winner.
An unreturnable serve finished off the job and set up a semi-final date with Serb Viktor Troicki who defeated American John Isner 7-6 (5) 6-3.
“I started to read the serve a little bit better in that tiebreak at the end of the second set and that is when the match changed,” said Murray in a courtside interview.
”It’s always tough when you are behind and I wasn’t getting many chances on his serve so it was a bit frustrating. In the second set I was holding my service games well but wasn’t able to get the break through.
“But towards the end I started to relax more and returned better and played some really good tennis at the end and hopefully I can carry that form through to tomorrow,” added Murray.
“Physically I feel good and with Wimbledon around the corner it’s always good to pick up some wins.”
The other semi-final will feature Frenchman Gilles Simon against South African Kevin Anderson.
Simon knocked out Canadian third seed Milos Raonic 4-6 6-3 7-5 while Anderson beat Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (7) 7-5.
Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Tony Jimenez