WILD CARD Dan Evans was brought down to earth on day four of the Aegon Championships, as 2009 US Open winner Juan Martin Del Potro put him to the sword.
The 23-year-old from Birmingham was the star of the opening days at the Queen's Club, with his first ever ATP victories – at the expense of Guido Pella of Argentina and experienced Finn Jarkko Niemenen.
But the imposing 6ft 6in Del Potro seemed to overwhelm the slighter Evans, who managed to claw back some dignity after being blown away 6-0 in the first set.
He finally held serve at the start of the second set, to huge cheers from the windswept centre court crowd, but was eventually seen off 6-3 – the contest lasting 56 minutes.
For all the gloomy weather reports this week – and Thursday still saw only the briefest of glimpse of sunshine on another cold, dull afternoon – the singles are back on track with all eight quarter-finalists determined in time for tomorrow's scheduled showdowns.
It meant some of the players playing twice, including Andy Murray, but the Scot was hardly burdened by the extra workload.
Resuming at 2-2 and one set up in his match against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, he eased through in a tie-breaker before brushing aside Aussie Marinko Matosevic 6-2, 6-2 in the briefest of tea-time spats.
The cold has done Murray no favours as he seeks to ease his way back to form and fitness at Wimbledon, having missed the French Open with a back injury. But his touch has been sound and he has looked comfortable.
As things stand, he is set for a thrilling semi-final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Saturday in a repeat of the 2011 final Murray won.
Frenchman Tsonga also played twice, but had to work harder for his supper. He beat compatriot Edouard Roger-Vasselin in a match stretched to three sets, and again dropped a set in his later match against Dutchman Igor Sijsling.
There have not been many times all four top seeds have made it to the semis, but that possibility remains, with Czech Tomas Berdych in the mix along with Murray, Tsonga and Del Potro.
Berdych overcame Slovenian Grega Zemlja in an early match on court one and now takes on last year's winner Marin Cilic, who survived a match point against Feliciano Lopez – albeit on his own serve – when 5-2 down in the third set.
Arguably the most romantic of tomorrow's quarter-finals will be the one between Del Potro and four times Queen's winner Lleyton Hewitt, who rolled back the years this week to defeat Grigor Dimitrov – the much younger Bulgarian who is as famous for his romance with Maria Sharapova as he is for his tennis these days.
Hewitt, who won the last of his titles in 2006, may have been banished to court two today, but still rose to the occasion to beat another previous winner, Sam Querrey, in three sets.
In his last-eight match, Murray will play the man with the famous name – Benjamin Becker – in a first meeting between the pair, while Tsonga meets Denis Kudla of the USA.