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All papers agree: Murray-mania is here

Andy Murray celebrates after defeating David Ferrer and advancing to the semi-finals.
by Mark Hodgkinson
Thursday 5 July 2012

Two things were inevitable after Andy Murray's quarter-final victory over David Ferrer. One, that the Duchess of Cambridge's photograph would dominate the front pages of this morning's British newspapers. Two, that everyone would be spinning the dial on the Murray hype. The Melbourne Age knows what's coming next, with this headline on their tennis coverage: "Wimbledon prepares for the outbreak of Murray-mania."

Boris Becker leads the way in The Daily Telegraph, writing: "This was a big win for Murray, a win that suggests great things could lie around the corner. If he keeps playing like this, I believe Andy will be the man who lifts the Wimbledon trophy above his head on Sunday afternoon. And Britain will finally have ended its grand slam jinx." Becker suggests that, "all the indications are that Andy's partnership with Ivan Lendl, who won eight grand slam titles, is starting to bear fruit. Ivan's winner's mentality is gradually working its way into his DNA. And he is showing a few Lendl trademarks in his shot-making too. The penultimate point of the match was a great example: Andy ran around his backhand and pumped a big forehand winner up the line. It was a real Lendl trademark from a man who didn't use to trust his forehand on the big points."

Giles Smith, of The Times, watched Roger Federer "cavalierly skewering" Mikhail Youzhny: "A realisation seemed to take hold around the Centre Court: that Rog is really quite good at tennis." Untrammelled, Rog was immediately leafing through his glossy catalogue of deluxe shots: the drive-volley with both feet in the air, the wiping backhand that doesn't so much hit the ball as clean it off the court, the second serve that spins and kicks so hard it seems to set off back towards the umpire. Even the personal tics - the unnecessary retucking of the bandanna-lashed fringe, the sponging of non-existent sweat - seem to have something smooth about them. Federer is the only man in the world who has managed to make wiping his nose on the back of his arm look suave."

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