By The Canadian Press
LONDON – Playing on Centre Court against a former Wimbledon champion and local favourite doesn’t intimidate Vasek Pospisil.
He’s been there before and has his own title to show for it.
The 56th seed from Vancouver won the men’s doubles title with American Jack Sock last year, so squaring off against 2013 champion Andy Murray in Wednesday’s quarter-final on the biggest stage at the All England Club isn’t daunting.
“I had one Centre Court experience, and it was a great one,” he said. “I’m looking forward to going out there again and giving it my best for sure.”
Pospisil was concentrating on recovery Tuesday, a day after spending six hours on the court in a fourth-round singles win over Viktor Troicki and a third-round doubles loss with Sock. Both matches went five sets, which has been the Wimbledon pattern for Pospisil. He has finished only one match in less than five sets.
“Obviously I played a lot of tennis, but one day of recovery is a lot,” said Pospisil. “I’ll do a lot of recovery and stuff. Then come out strong on Wednesday.”
The third-seeded Murray has been playing well for his home fans. The Scot pulled off a four-set defeat of Croatian serving giant Ivo Karlovic in the fourth round.
Pospisil hasn’t beat Murray in three career tries.
“It’s going to be a tough one, he’s had a great results here over the years,” said Pospisil. “He’s one of the big four, as they say.
“But I’m serving well, I’m playing well. I know I’ll have my hands full and I have to go out there and play to the best of my abilities. And that’s what I plan on doing.”
The two have never met on grass before and Murray is not taking him lightly.
“He’s had a good run here,” said Murray. “He won the doubles last year and he can play well on the surface. He’s also played a lot of tennis here, which, is a positive for him in some ways. But also maybe he’s a little bit fatigued. I won’t bank on that being the case, but if it is, then I’ll try to use that to my advantage.”
Pospisil said he has become battle-hardened in front of partisan British fans after beating Murray’s Davis Cup teammate James Ward in a five-set, third-round marathon.
“It doesn’t really faze me too much playing in front of crowds that are against me,” he said. “I like playing in front of big crowds in general. Doesn’t matter if they are against me or cheering for me. Obviously I’d prefer they are on my side, but, I tend to play well in those kind of situations. So I’m not worried about that, really.”
The 25-year-old, who said he has been working on his mental and motivational fitness as well as staying physically in shape, has learned how to handle the demands of Grand Slam tennis.
“I’m more comfortable playing best-of-five-set matches,” he said. “I know how to manage it better â€” that was something that I was struggling with in previous years. It’s a long match even if you’re down two sets, the last set is always the toughest one to win. I realize it’s going to be a tough feat to accomplish, to beat Andy here at Wimbledon, his home court.”
Pospisil is the lone Canadian left in the singles draw after Eugenie Bouchard lost in the first round and Milos Raonic went down in the third. Daniel Nestor of Toronto is still playing in mixed doubles.