Rory McIlroy backs Andy Murray for Wimbledon win
Andy Murray has been given the backing of a man who knows what it is like to win one of his sport's four majors as he prepared to continue his bid to do the same.
The hottest ticket in town at the All England Club yesterday was the Aorangi practice courts as Murray was introduced to golf's new US Open champion Rory McIlroy, the Scot enjoying a lengthy chat with the Ulsterman and John McEnroe.
McIlroy said: "I'm a big tennis fan. I grew up watching Tim Henman here at Wimbledon and cheering him on every summer. And now that's passed over to Andy.
"We're all behind him and hopefully he can win his first grand slam."
Murray is three wins away from breaking his grand slam duck and Spain's Feliciano Lopez should not provide too much of an obstacle in the quarter-finals today.
The 29-year-old produced one of the best performances of the tournament to see off Andy Roddick in straight sets in the third round and is a talented grass-court player, but Murray has beaten him in all four of their previous meetings.
Lopez also had a very draining afternoon on Monday when he came from two sets down to defeat Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot to reach the last eight at Wimbledon for the third time.
Things were much easier for Murray, who might have expected a tougher time against 17th seed Richard Gasquet but, after a tight first set, cruised through 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 6-2.
The world number four is happy with his progress so far, particularly the way he battled past Ivan Ljubicic in round three on Friday.
However, he knows he will have to continue to serve as well as he did on Monday, with Rafael Nadal looming in the last four, foot injury permitting.
Murray said: "You just need to keep improving each match. I think the match in the third round, for me, was a really good test. It was a tough match. I thought both of us played well.
"It all comes down to taking your chances when you play against the best players.
"I played against Rafa at the French Open and I had many break-point opportunities, but I wasn't able to take them.
"If I serve very well then I'll have a chance because my return is normally consistent."
Murray would probably have anticipated meeting Roddick, the man he lost to in the semi-finals two years ago, today, and he will be expected to brush aside Lopez without too many problems.
Despite his win over Roddick, Lopez has generated the most headlines this week for his nickname, Deliciano, given to him by Murray's mother Judy.
Lopez said: "It is going to be a family member playing against Deliciano. She won't be supporting me any more."
Lopez, meanwhile, is confident he will be fully fit following his four-hour epic against Kubot.
"It was a long match," he added. "But when you have a day off, you have time to recover."