Wilkinson: Braveheart Murray has got champion’s resolve

Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates defeating Spain's Fernando Verdasco during day nine of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates defeating Spain's Fernando Verdasco during day nine of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
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Andy Murray yesterday showed the heart of a champion to keep his Wimbledon dream alive.

Fighting back from two sets down to defeat Fernando Verdasco again told us all about the strength of character he possesses.

He sent out a real message to rivals that he is a true competitor and will fight to the bitter end.

Without playing his best tennis, Andy found a way to win. It was a superb effort.

When two sets down in such circumstances, many players would have given up the ghost. Not Andy.

He showed he can dig deep and churn out a result and, with that crowd behind him, he’s a real force.

The crowd certainly has an impact and there were lots of juicy moments where they really fired him up. How he won it was incredible really.

Verdasco has a big, big forehand and was dominating the big points early on.

Andy was a bit passive at times and making mistakes. Verdasco has changed coach recently and also changed rackets just two weeks ago.

He’s using the same frame as Rafael Nadal does – and it certainly seemed to help him.

There were many moments like that double fault at the end of the first set and net cord at the end of the second, where you thought the match was going to go away from Andy – but he found a way to win.

I can’t highlight any more the importance of his character and its role in him coming through and winning yesterday.

Is it the character of a champion? Of course it is.

I don’t think being taken to five sets and dropping his first sets of the tournament will do Andy any harm.

He hasn’t been taken the distance in earlier rounds and is going to be match tight.

It might have been a little draining but he has today to get over it.

In many ways it might well just be the kick up the backside he needed.

Now it’s Jerzy Janowicz for Andy in the semi-finals.

He won the battle of the Poles yesterday as he beat his compatriot Lukasz Kubot to set up Friday’s showdown.

Janowicz is powerful. He has a big serve and a big forehand.

He can just knock an opponent off and get right through you.

The Pole is a new kid on the block, he’s had some big wins and there is no doubt he is dangerous.

But we know what Andy is capable of – and I still believe it is shaping up nicely for him.