Murray on track for medal after strolling past Almagro… but Djokovic awaits in semis
15:01 GMT, 2 August 2012
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Andy Murray put on a dazzling display for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as he crushed Nicolas Almagro to move within one win of an Olympic medal.
Murray produced his best performance of the tournament in front of the Royal couple on Court One at Wimbledon, and now faces Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals after the world No 1 beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets.
The Scot raced to a first set win in just over half an hour before Almagro suffered a recurrence of a shoulder injury and crumbled in the second to leave Murray with a superb 6-4, 6-1 win.
Composed: Andy Murray had no problems against Nicolas Almagro
The British No 1 will now play either Novak Djokovic or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last four.
The only disappointing aspect of the Scot's victory was the fact that around 700 empty seats were visible halfway through the first set while Murray Mound was packed outside.
Murray started off nervously on Wednesday, losing the first set against Marco Baghdatis, but there was no repeat performance this afternoon as the Scot came flying out of the blocks.
Closer and closer: Andy Murray remains on course for an Olympic medal
William and Kate looked in relaxed mood as they enjoyed their afternoon in the sun, but on court Murray was intent on getting down to business.
Almagro is one of the form players in the world, but Murray challenged his opponent hard in the first game before firing down two aces to hold.
Almagro showed flashes of brilliance with some powerful forehand shots, but the Scot was clearly on top, engineering three break points in the fifth game with some excellent tennis.
A-list support: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed the Murray match
The Spaniard buckled under pressure, double-faulting to gift Murray the break and the British No 1 fired down four successive aces in the following game to stamp his authority on the match.
Murray held to love twice to take the set after just 34 minutes and the 25-year-old's chances of victory were boosted when Almagro suffered a shoulder injury that required on-court treatment from the physio.
Can't get in: Fans watched the action on big screens but despite there being empty seats inside
The interruption failed to knock Murray out of his stride as he broke Almagro to love at the start of the second, the winning shot a peach of a cross-court forehand.
Almagro's frustration got the better of him in the next game as he angrily punched his racquet into the turf.
Murray suffered a slight wobble in the fourth game when he double-faulted twice, but held and then broke his opponent again in the following game with a brilliant forehand.
The Scot held superbly before breaking the Spaniard again in the seventh game to seal a victory that was greeted by a standing ovation from the crowd, including the Royal couple.
Murray, also playing in the first round of the mixed doubles with Laura Robson this afternoon, was delighted with the quickfire victory in front of William and Kate.
Murray said: 'I didn't speak to them after the match but it's always nice when you're playing in front of royalty.
'When you get people like that coming along it helps raise the profile of the sport.
Pumped: Andy Murray was in the mood against Nicolas Almagro
'It was a good performance today. I served well and that helped.
'It was good to get it finished early. I didn't want a long match because I am playing in the doubles this afternoon.
'Now I hope I can get a medal.'
Murray was disappointed to see rows
of empty seats on Court One, however, and urged organisers to make sure
the stands are full for his semi-final, and Sunday's medal matches.
'I would like to see all the seats full in all of the stadia but for whatever reason they haven't been,' the Scot said.
'The support inside and outside the stadiums has been great so hopefully over the weekend we will get all the courts packed.
'Centre Court was really busy the
last two rounds I have played on there and hopefully they will all be
full. Everyone wants to see that.
'Lots of people want to see the
Games, there are lots of people trying to get tickets and it's not easy
so I don't want to see any empty seats.'