July 6, 2016
Andy Murray managed to shut down a spirited comeback from Jo Wilfried Tsonga just in time to book his place in the Wimbledon semi-finals.
The Scot looked to be in a spot of bother, firstly when his French opponent got off to a flying start in the first set tie-break.
Then, when Murray appeared to have weathered the storm and led by two sets, Tsonga relaxed again and played some of his very best tennis.
The momentum was with the underdog at two sets apiece. Yet it was Murray who found an extra gear when it really mattered to wrap up his victory 7-6 (12-10), 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1.
Murray said: ‘It was a tough match. The end of that fourth set was really tough. I tried to use all my energy at the beginning of the fifth and get myself up and get the crowd pumped up. Tsonga is one of the best grass court players in the world.’
Now he will play Tomas Berdych, who beat Lucas Pouille 7-6, 6-3, 6-2. ‘He has been to the final before so he will be feeling comfortable on court,’ predicted Murray.
Meanwhile Roger Federer somehow survived a classic against Marin Cilic to progress 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3. And he faces Milos Raonic in the other semi-final after the Canadian defeated Novak Djokovic’s conqueror, Sam Querrey.
So the dream final is still on! If Federer and Murray can negotiate their semis, they will meet on Centre Court on Sunday for the showpiece most of the world would like to see.
Some British fans might wonder who to support if that match-up does become a reality. Federer is so loved at Wimbledon. And this is widely regarded as his last big chance of winning a Grand Slam to round off a glittering career.
But Murray is also hugely popular these days, as evidenced by his Sports Personality of the Year award in Britain. So where will people’s loyalties lie?
It’s a win-win situation for tennis fans. But Raonic and Berdych will be out to spoil that party on Friday by making their own dreams come true.