More than ever, Andy Murray is feeling right at home in a place, and at a tennis tournament, where he is embraced like nowhere else.
And why shouldn’t Wimbledon embrace him?
He won last year, after 77 years between male British singles titles at Wimbledon. Fred Perry did it in 1936 and finally, along came Murray.
He has yet to lose a set, and Monday’s 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (6) mastery of a big-serving South African Kevin Anderson in the fourth round only served to further British frenzy over the chances for a repeat.
The third-seeded Murray had 41 winners, 11 aces — surprisingly, two more than his Anderson — and induced 19 break points from his opponent. The four he converted were all he needed to roll into the quarterfinals.
The match was stopped after about 90 minutes as rain began for the second time in the day. There is a roof over Center Court, and only Center Court. So while other matches were suspended for the day, Murray and Anderson came back out and Anderson stepped up his game.
“I still played pretty well under the roof,” Murray said, “but I was just a little more tentative.”
Roof or no roof, Anderson said he has a real appreciation for Murray’s skill.
“I feel he neutralizes my biggest strengths a lot better than most people,” Anderson said, meaning Murray returns his serve well.
In other notable matches, Alize Cornet of France, who beat top-seeded Serena Williams on Saturday in the biggest upset of the tournament so far, was ousted in the fourth round by Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, 7-6 (5), 7-5.
“I’m proud that I really fought to the end,” Bouchard said. “She’s a good fighter. We were just battling.”
Bouchard is seeded 13th, Cornet 25th.
Sabine Lisicki and Ana Ivanovic, the latter a former French Open champion, battled for three sets and the German, Lisicki, won out over the Serbian, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in a third-round match held over because of rain.
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, who won a Wimbledon title in 2011 and is seeded sixth, advanced to the quarterfinals, beating Peng Shuai of China, 6-3, 6-2. But fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland lost her fourth-round match, upset by No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, 6-3, 6-0.
Fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova’s scheduled fourth-round match was postponed a day because of the rain.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic’s fourth-rounder on Center Court was the only match that stretched into the evening, as rain washed out the side court play. Under the roof, Djokovic dismissed dangerous Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, whom he had played 17 times previously, winning 12.
Victory No. 13 for the Serbian star was by 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (5), with match point in the tiebreaker coming on Djokovic’s spectacular cross-court backhand passing shot that caught the sideline.
Also advancing on the men’s side was Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland, who beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4, in the third round and set up a match with Spain’s hard-serving Feliciano Lopez, who survived a slugfest to defeat the last surviving U.S. man, John Isner, 6-7 (8), 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), 7-5.