Andy Murray came back from a set down to clinch an impressive victory against Jo Wilfried Tsonga in their quarter-final encounter at Wimbledon.
The Scot’s four set win, 6 – 7 (5 – 7), 7 – 6 (7 – 5), 6 – 2, 6 – 2, now means he has repeated last year’s performance at the Grand Slam and will take on world-number-one Rafael Nadal on Friday for a place in the final.
But things did not go according to plan for Murray when the powerful and tough-to-break-down Tsonga won the first set on a tiebreak after all 12 games went with the serve.
It was the first time in the competition that Murray had lost a set and he was an annoyed man as the Frenchman dominated at Centre Court.
But the British ace found his form again when he broke Tsonga’s serve for the first time to take a 2 – 0 lead early in the second set.
However Murray failed to capitalise on this advantage and at 3 – 1 ahead, the Frenchman broke Murray back to restore parity. Both players held their serve for the rest of the set so it went into another tiebreak. It was a set that Murray could not afford to lose with the chance of going 2 – 0 down.
At 5 – 5 in the tiebreak, the Frenchman made a huge error leaving the ball when it actually dropped on the baseline to gift Murray a set point on serve. He made no mistake when Tsonga hit the ball long and the match was level.
It was a vital situatiuon in the match and you could see Murray’s joy after clinching that second set, he was shouting and jumping for joy and getting the crowd right behind him. If he had lost that tiebreak, then at two sets down he could have been down and out.
With the momentum back in the Scot’s corner, the rest of the match then went all his way as Tsonga was tiring and seemed to be nursing some kind of thumb injury.
An epic game lasting nearly ten minutes at 1 – 1 showed Tsong’s tiredness and Murray finally broke serve after missing out on four previous occasions in the game. The Scot’s confidence increased and another break of serve later gifted him the third set.
The fourth set proved much the same as the last as Tsonga knew his time at this year’s All England Championship was coming to an end. Murray broke him twice to sail to a rampant 4 – 0 lead and then held his serve to seal the four-set win.
Last year, Britain’s number one lost out to American Andy Roddick in the last four, this time he will hope to go one better against Nadal and make his first ever Wimbledon final.
But the Spaniard will have other ideas and it is likely to be a cracking match – one not to be missed on Friday.
Elsewhere, the shock of the day saw six-time Wimbledon winner and defending champion Roger Federer lose in four sets to the Czech Republic’s Thomas Berdych.
It is the first time Federer has a lost a match before the final here at SW19 since 2002.