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Murray keeps Wimbledon hopes alive

Published 04/07/2015

Andy Murray, right, and James Ward are the only Britons left in the Wimbledon singles competition
Andy Murray, right, and James Ward are the only Britons left in the Wimbledon singles competition

Andy Murray is Britain's sole Wimbledon survivor once again after fellow Briton James Ward crashed out of the tournament today.

The Scot battled his way into the last 16 after beating Italy's Andreas Seppi in four sets on Centre Court.

Cheered on by his wife Kim and mother Judy - who was a guest in the royal box - Murray pumped his fist in celebration after serving an ace on match point.

Some fans had been queuing since Thursday morning to secure a seat in the famous tennis arena.

Ward's Wimbledon dream came to an end after he suffered an agonising defeat to Canada's Vasek Pospisil - ranked more than 50 places above him - in a five set thriller on Number One court.

The 28-year-old wildcard, ranked world number 111, banks £77,000 for reaching the third round - his best ever grand slam performance.

He applauded the crowd as he left the court while his father Jim, who drives a cab in London, watched on from the players' box.

After playing in front of some of Britain's sporting greats in the royal box, Murray said: "It's always nice to play in front of sporting icons, especially ones from your own country."

Next up for Murray is big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic, the tallest player on the men's tour at 6ft 11in, who he will play in the fourth round.

Earlier, tennis fans saluted a group of British military heroes sitting in the royal box on Centre Court.

Injured servicemen and women who competed in last year's inaugural Invictus Games received a spontaneous standing ovation after they were introduced to the crowd.

Artist Paul Cummins and theatre designer Tom Piper, the men behind the breathtaking Tower of London poppies art installation, were also greeted by loud cheers from spectators.

The star-studded royal box on the sixth day of the championships included England cricketer James Anderson, former footballer Gary Lineker, golfer Justin Rose, Paralympic star David Weir and Olympic gold medal-winning boxer Nicola Adams.

Anderson - England's record wicket taker - brought with him Radio 1 DJ Greg James, while Murray's mother Judy was joined by her former Strictly Come Dancing partner Anton Du Beke.

She had earlier tweeted she was taking Du Beke for "a spot of Royal Boxing", adding: "He's hyper. But he's promised to be cha cha charming."

Prince Harry launched the Invictus Games last year for injured members of the armed forces.

Competitors in the royal box included Royal Marine reservist John Chalmers who underwent almost 30 operations after treading on an explosive while serving in Helmand, Afghanistan, in May 2011.

He was joined by fellow medal winners Andy Grant - a Royal Marine who lost part of his leg after stepping on a bomb in Afghanistan in 2009 - Gus Hurst, Stuart Robinson, Kimberley Sterling, Sam Stocks and Michaela Richards.

England rugby union captain Chris Robshaw and coach Stuart Lancaster were in the royal box alongside former players Bill Beaumont and Matt Dawson.

Ex-England cricketers Geoffrey Boycott and Andrew Strauss, golfer Luke Donald, runner Jo Pavey, former Olympic swimmer Mark Foster and retired footballer Graeme Le Saux were also among the guests.

Overseas stars in the royal box included former Ireland rugby union captain Brian O'Driscoll and past Wimbledon tennis champions Boris Becker and Martina Navratilova.

Dreadlocked German Dustin Brown, who knocked out Rafael Nadal, could not repeat his success as he crashed out in the third round.

The world number 102, who has a large tattoo of his father Leroy on his body, lost to 22nd seed Viktor Troicki of Serbia.

The main road to the All England Club was closed today because of damage caused by a storm overnight.

After a week of scorching weather, tennis fans enjoyed glorious sunshine again.

Meanwhile, Roger Federer's third round opponent Sam Groth struck the second fastest serve recorded at Wimbledon with a 147mph shot - just behind Taylor Dent's record of 148mph.

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