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Andy Murray powers into semi-final

Tennis ace Andy Murray has roared to victory at Wimbledon after being treated to a royal audience in his quarter-final clash.

The British number one booked himself a place in the semi-finals with his Centre Court victory over David Ferrer after a nail-biting tie-break.

Murray was given a reprieve from the rain that dogged his last match, playing in dry weather apart from one brief delay, and did his now-trademark "fingers to the sky" gesture after his victory.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watched from the Royal Box as six-time champion Roger Federer beat Russian Mikhail Youzhny before seeing Murray take on Spain's Ferrer. But they were not on Centre Court to see the Scot clinch his place in Friday's semi-final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

They were joined in the Royal Box by famous faces including tennis couple Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, England football manager Roy Hodgson and broadcasters Des Lynam and Sir Michael Parkinson. Murray was also watched by his usual support team including girlfriend Kim Sears - spotted biting her nails during the tense match - and mother Judy Murray.

After the game, Murray said it was a tough match. He won 6-7 (7/5) 7-6 (8/6) 6-4 7-6 (7/4). He said the delay for rain meant joining Ferrer in the locker room in what was a "tense atmosphere" as they both waited to return to the court.

Fans were joyous as the latest victory is guaranteed to send "Murray mania" into overdrive. Monica Przygoda, 20, from London, said: "It's really exciting. I actually thought he'd lose today but it's brilliant that he won. It's exciting that he's through to the semi-final."

Mary Astell, 52, from Liverpool, said: "It was fantastic. We try to come every year and we sometimes manage to get Centre Court tickets. It was looking a bit uncertain at times, and we knew it would be tough, but it's so great that he's through. We'd love to be here on Friday but we can't afford it, so we'll be watching it on the telly."

Murray's victory boosted his odds with the bookies, with William Hill putting him at 1/2 to beat Tsonga - the shortest odds for a Briton to make the final since 1938. Murray was 9/2 to lift the trophy on Sunday night.

William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: "Murray has the best of the semi-finals and the odds suggest we will have a British player in the final."

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