Murray storms into Wimbledon final

By for on
At 6.43pm today, Andy Murray’s swinging forehand return on match point was called out. As Tsonga challenged, the Wimbledon Centre Court held its breath, then erupted as Hawkeye confirmed the ball dusted the white line.

Murray closed his eyes and raised his fingers to the heavens in silent celebration of an exultant and historic 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-5 Wimbledon semi-final win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

No British man had made the Wimbledon men’s final since Bunny Austin in 1938 but, as Murray accepted the congratulations from the French number one, the only appropriate response seemed to be ‘Bunny who?’

Austin came from a time when table manners were still fashionable, when trams were the preferred method of transport and ladies removed their hats after 6pm.

Shortly after 6pm today, it looked unlikely that anyone would be doffing their caps to the world number four as, leading by two sets to one and a break, he weakly squandered his serve to hand the momentum right back to Tsonga.

It was momentum that the Scot had worked hard to win, using his blistering return of serve to utterly dominate proceedings on Centre Court. The Lendl-inspired forehand came with added beef; the extra kick on the second serve was stupendously effective. The whole effect was mesmerising in its solidity.

Murray broke in just the second game, crashing topspin forehands crosscourt and nailing double-handers down the line for fun. It was stupendous stuff exemplifed by the first point of game three when Murray contemptuously swatted a forehand half-volley for a searing winner off a biting Tsonga approach.

The heady cocktail of solid serving and rasping groundshots continued into the second set, with Tsonga looking shellshocked and Murray like a man in pursuit of history.

The world number four’s passing shots left Tsonga flailing at the net and his magnificent neutralisation of the Frenchman’s service bombs brought its reward at 2-3. Murray was one set away from the Wimbledon final. A few courts and just one vowel distant, Johnny Marray was beating his fists as he became the first British man into the doubles final for 35 years.

Whether Murray could join him on the sport’s most celebrated stage depended largely now on whether he could hold his nerve in the critical third set.

To his fans’ dismay, the Scot embarked on a huge mental holiday, losing focus in what his former coach Brad Gilbert had described as the Dictate Game – the key game at the start of a new set.

Tsonga came roaring back, breaking serve and clinging on to take the set 6-3. Murray’s fortunes hung over a precipice as big and tall and wide as the White Cliffs that stare with such disdain across the Channel.

The Scot seized an early break in the fourth but the number five seed came back with some serious firepower of his own.

With the man from Le Mans serving at 3-4, Murray held a break point, but chose to lob a short ball when a clipped winner looked the better option. A back-pedalling Tsonga hounded down the ball and scorched a winner past a diving Murray. Tsonga levelled.

But the British number one wasn’t done yet. The match pummelled its way to 5-6 and the Scot regained some focus, driving deep and hard and wide, forcing errors from the racket of the Frenchman. Then, at 15-40, Murray clipped his forehand scud onto the line, Hawkeye ruled in his favour and the crowd were out of their seats and bellowing in an unbelieving ecstasy.

For Murray, 1938 will be an irrelevant statistic. Of more pertinence is 1936, the year when the fabled Fred Perry last lifted the trophy. To emulate him, the Scot will need to harness all the pent-up rage and frustration of 76 wasted years to rise to the occasion and eclipse the game’s greatest player on the sport’s most exalted stage.
GET THE **** IN!!!!!
July 06, 2012, 07:05 PM
By Joe

I said earlier in this tournament I'd be happy with him reaching the finals but now I know he's playing against Federer... I would like to see Federer lose to him.
July 06, 2012, 07:07 PM
By Mark

I said earlier in this tournament I'd be happy with him reaching the finals but now I know he's playing against Federer... I would like to see Federer lose to him.

I'd like him to rip his heart out and hold it, still beating, under his massive nose.
July 06, 2012, 07:08 PM
By Joe

 partyman ONE MORE WIN ANDY!  cmon yeah
July 06, 2012, 07:09 PM
By janetx

I'd like him to rip his heart out and hold it, still beating, under his massive nose.

Don't hold back Joe lol
July 06, 2012, 07:10 PM
By Bevc

Don't hold back Joe lol

This is intense, ran back into the house from work to watch the match point, I'd been attempting to follow the match all the way home on the tube but no network!

Come on Andy, one more win, just one more.
July 06, 2012, 07:12 PM
By Joe

Oh no!  I watched and recorded it too!  I hope it's not a long match Sunday - I've got about 5 hours from start of play before I have to get ready for work, though the boss did say I could go in late if Andy got to the final but I'd miss my lift to work.

Believe Andy!
July 06, 2012, 07:16 PM
By Bevc

I always believed he would reach the final here, I never doubted that.  Tears will be shed on Sunday win or lose.  He was very emotional at the end and no wonder really.  So proud of him.

What a chance on Sunday, I don't know what was up with Nole today but he was less than 70% out there, so all this how brilliant is Federer crap just keep on coming, will help take the pressure off Andy.

Take a bow Andy Murray, get some rest, and let's get right f***ing into Fed on Sunday!
July 06, 2012, 07:21 PM
By scotsgeek28

I'd like him to rip his heart out and hold it, still beating, under his massive nose.

July 06, 2012, 07:29 PM
By Alis

He only went and did it,yaaaaaaaassss, Andy the total pride of Scotland, one more match to take out the over aged preppy American college look a like.

Come on Andy, rest that Braveheart for Sunday, you are an absoloute f*****g genius!!
July 06, 2012, 07:36 PM
By Murray Magic

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