Andy Murray sets up semi-final clash with Rafael Nadal
Andy Murray will play Rafael Nadal for a place in the Wimbledon final on Friday after the Scot overcame Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets.
The Brit’s 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 6-2 victory marks successive semi-final appearances at Wimbledon.
Centre Court took a while to recover from the shock of Roger Federer’s exit from the tournament he has dominated for the best part of a decade. And it appeared Murray and Tsonga both needed time to settle into their rhythm as a relatively straightforward start to the match unfolded.
The first set went with serve, with both players largely untroubled despite both saving break points.
A tie break was inevitable and despite admirable nerve from Murray, who saved two set points with impressive serving, Tsonga eventually converted his third set point with a ferocious serve.
The British No.1 reacted well to his disappointing start as he raced into a 3-0 lead in the second. It looked as though the Scot would steady himself and serve out the set comfortably, but the French No.10 seed had other ideas.
Again a tie-break was required to settle the set and again Tsonga led with a 5-4 advantage, giving the partisan crown with much to ponder. Murray’s hopes of SW19 glory seemed to be fading in the face of his French opponent’s powerful serving.
But a superb Murray backhand levelled matters before Tsonga made a calamitous error, opting to leave a looping effort from Murray which dropped onto the baseline. The Frenchman was exasperated, the Scot exuberant.
Suddenly, with roles reversed, Tsonga made an unforced error which handed Murray the set and restored parity.
Tsonga had surrendered the momentum to Murray and despite a momentary scare at break point in the sixth game, he was ruthlessly eliminated.
Murray, the No.4 seed at SW19, wrapped up the third set in rapid fashion, winning 6-2.
The Scot looked in an imperious mood as the fourth set got underway, displaying accurate passing shots which battered and dazed his opponent.
With Tsonga’s resistance at an end, Murray raced into a commanding 5-2 lead. He served out the match, finishing proceedings with a punishing forehand.