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TENNIS: Sir Alex Ferguson chat fuels Andy Murray’s Wimbledon title challenge

Andy Murray in action against South Africa's Kevin Anderson

Andy Murray in action against South Africa's Kevin Anderson

Andy Murray will head into a Wimbledon quarter-final against Grigor Dimitrov with advice from Sir Alex Ferguson safely stored away.

The former Manchester United manager watched Murray beat Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8/6) from the Royal Box and the pair met for a quick chat afterwards.

Murray met Ferguson for the first time at the US Open two years ago, with Ferguson joining Murray’s support camp for his maiden grand slam triumph.

Ferguson was also at Wimbledon last year when Murray fought back from two sets down to beat Fernando Verdasco, the British number one describing Ferguson’s advice as “gold dust”.

He was unable to be at the final for Murray’s historic triumph over Novak Djokovic, though, because he was on a cruise around the Scottish islands.

After beating Anderson, Murray said: “I chatted to him for a few minutes after the match. Not for long, but just immediately when I came off the court. We stay in contact throughout the year.

“We chat about a lot of things. We talked about my match today, spoke about football, the World Cup a little bit.

“Then he just said a few things, what he’s observed when he’s been watching me, not necessarily about technical or tactical things, but more mental things, how you respond to tough or tight situations.

“Obviously you’re going to listen to someone like him. He’s witnessed a lot of big and tight sporting occasions. He obviously knows his stuff.”

Murray, though, dismissed a suggestion he might take on Ferguson as an adviser in a more formal scenario.

“He’s someone I would obviously talk to if something came up that I felt I could benefit from speaking to him about,” Murray said of his fellow Scot.

“But I wouldn’t see myself employing him or offering him a job within my team.”

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic marched into Wimbledon’s quarter-finals with an intimidating show of strength to floor Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets.

Tournament favourite Djokovic demonstrated his title credentials with a commanding 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7/5) dismissal of the French 14th seed.

Djokovic will tackle Marin Cilic in the last eight, after the Croatian 26th seed eased past Jeremy Chardy in straight sets.

“I’m feeling good, I’ve had two days off to recover,” Djokovic said.

“He started to serve really well towards the end of the third set, so it was important to hold for 4-4.”

Elsewhere, Stan Wawrinka has hit out at Wimbledon bosses for handing him five matches in seven days to achieve his title dream.

The Swiss number five seed vowed to plough through his “tough” fixture pile-up after beating Denis Istomin 6-3 6-3 6-4 in Monday’s rearranged third-round clash.

Wawrinka will face 19th seed Feliciano Lopez on Tuesday after reaching the fourth round for the first time in five years.

“For sure I was disappointed,” he said of Saturday’s postponement.

“If you look for this week, we have to play three matches in three days.

“Three five-set matches is terrible for the body.”

Elsewhere, Japan’s Kei Nishikori completed his five-set victory over Italian Simone Bolelli to begin Monday’s proceedings and will face eighth seed Milos Raonic in the fourth round.

 

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