WIMBLEDON, England — While Spain’s Fernando Verdasco did his best to spoil the party on Wednesday, No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Andy Murray are just one step away from keeping the Wimbledon men’s draw intact. It will be Djokovic vs. 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro and Murray vs. No. 23 Jerzy Janowicz in the semifinals on Friday.
All four men had entirely different paths to the semis. Djokovic started the day by dismissing No. 7 Tomas Berdych 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-3 with his relentless display of defense. Jerzy Janowicz booked his spot a few hours later by firing 30 aces to defeat his countryman Lukasz Kubot 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 and become the first Polish man to reach a Grand Slam semifinal.
The drama was reserved for Centre Court, where Del Potro took a seemingly disastrous fall in the first game of his match against No. 4 David Ferrer before the tournament doctor gave him some “magic pills,” as he called them. The Argentine proceeded to play his best match of the tournament, snapping a four-match losing streak to Ferrer with a 6-2, 7-5, 7-6 (5) win.
Last but not least was Britain’s own Murray, who caused quite a panic when he fell behind two sets to the unseeded but talented Verdasco before climbing back to win 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5. Keep calm and Murray on. For a complete breakdown of the men’s quarterfinal action, click here.
Here are some of our favorite photos from Day 9 at The Championships.
Juan Martin del Potro: Told that he fell like a building when he collapsed to the grass in victory, Del Potro, who is into his first Wimbledon semifinal, had the quip of the day: “Yeah, they call me the tower in [his hometown of] Tandil. Not like a building.” (Adrian Denis/AFP/Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic: The world No. 1 may bend. But he does not break. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)
Andy Murray: As Verdasco kept pounding 110 mph second-serve aces smack on the line, Britain’s only hope grew a wee bit frustrated. (Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Jerzy Janowicz and Lukasz Kubot: What a day for Polish sports. (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Juan Martin del Potro: Every once in a while we get a glimpse of the Del Potro who won the U.S. Open in 2009. Wednesday was one of those days. The two forehands he hit to win the last two points of the match were incredible. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Kim Sears: That was basically all of Britain for a good three hours. (Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic: No one makes tennis look like a scene out of The Matrix like this guy. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)
Andy Murray and Fernando Verdasco: Another five-set loss for Verdasco in the second week of a Slam, another five-set comeback for Murray on Centre Court. Glad they can both laugh about it. (Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images)
Fernando Verdasco: Pics or it didn’t happen — Verdasco’s hair did move! (Alastair Grant/AP)