Muller marches on at Queen’s Club
Originally published on 23/06/17 00:00
The Luxembourger is currently enjoying the best run of form in his 16-year career and his winning streak on grass has now been extended to seven matches.
It was a match-up between two big-servers and break-point opportunities were at a premium. Muller did, though, secure an unlikely breakthrough in the third game of the opener and he was soon bounding to his chair with the first set in pocket.
Muller is known for his exquisite serve and prowess in the forecourt, but in the last few weeks it has been his baseline play that has caught the eye. The 34-year-old has been impressive in prolonged rallies and it’s undoubtedly contributed to his summer of success.
The second set was serve dominated however Querrey did have two set-points in the 12th game that he was unable to convert. A tiebreak was required and it was claimed by Muller after an outstanding lunging volley.
"Everything is working out great at the moment,” said Muller. “I’m playing really good tennis and I also feel like that at important moments I’m able to produce some very good shots – so everything is going my way at the moment.
‘It’s a great feeling when you get this many matches in a row. It doesn’t happen too often in the year for me so to get this many wins in a row gives me a big boost and a lot of confidence.”
Muller’s next opponent will be the highest seed left in the draw, Marin Cilic. The Croatian defeated Donald Young 6-4 7-5 and he has reached the last four without dropping a set.
It was another strong serving display from the former champion and he remains on course to lift the title again on Sunday. The 28-year-old was untroubled in the opener but he was wasteful in the second set and should have ended the contest much sooner than he did.
“I’m playing really well this week,” admitted the world No.7. “Obviously I’m feeling great on the court and it’s another match without me losing my serve – which is extremely good. There is a gusty wind today so it wasn’t easy. I had a lot of break-points in the second set but Donald was hanging in there and coming up with some great shots, so I’m pleased to get it done in two sets.”
Grigor Dimitrov was the third player through to the last four as he overcame Daniil Medvedev 6-3 3-6 6-3.
The Bulgarian, who was not at his best, recovered from a break down in the deciding set to keep his hopes of winning a second title at Queen’s Club alive.
The match looked like it might not even take place as Medvedev sustained a right shoulder injury in the warm up and he had to undergo extensive treatment before a ball was struck in anger.
After the unexpected delay, the action commenced and it looked like it was going to be a quick afternoon’s work for the Bulgarian as he romped into a 5-0 lead. Medvedev was eventually able to get his side of the scoreboard moving but the first set was already out of sight.
Despite the shoulder issue, the Russian was still able to crack 16 aces and he came roaring back in the second set to take the match the distance. Another upset seemed possible when the Bulgarian slipped behind early in the decider however he responded immediately and was the stronger player in the crunch moments.
The 2014 champion said: “It was a very tricky match today as it’s never easy to play against a player you’ve never played before. He is a very talented player and he definitely surprised me in the middle of the second set and the beginning of the third.
“I wasn’t playing good tennis overall but these are the matches that I’m happy to win, and from now on it can only get better. Hopefully I can produce better tennis tomorrow.”
Feliciano Lopez set up a meeting with Dimitrov, a repeat of the 2014 Queen's Club final, after a 7-6(5) 6-7(1) 7-5 success over Tomas Berdych.
At the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Roger Federer knocked out the defending champion, Florian Mayer, 6-3 6-4. The Swiss maestro will play Karen Khachanov, who defeated Andrey Rublev in a compelling three-setter, in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Alexander Zverev will play Richard Gasquet in the other semi-final.