Murray dodges a bullet

By for MurraysWorld.com on
Andy Murray reached his second successive Wimbledon final with a dramatic 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Jerzy Janowicz. The Pole, playing in his first ever Slam semi final, acquitted himself admirably but was unable to cope with Murray's tenacity and strength of will.

Janowicz has rather unfairly earned a reputation as a servebot. It's true that the Pole's first delivery is his biggest weapon, but he also possesses a howitzer forehand and surprisingly good movement for such a tall man. The only glaring weakness in his game is the return of serve - especially when facing kick and slice. Murray was clearly aware of this and throughout the match emphasised placement over outright power on his own first delivery.

Rather predictably the first set was entirely service dominated. Murray managed to earn a toehold in most games, but it wasn't until 5-4 that the Scot forced a break opportunity. A crackerjack backhand earned 15-30 before an unforced error made if 15-40. Janowicz, betraying absolutely no signs of nerves, pounded down two un-returnable serves to evade the danger. There were no more chances for either player and a tiebreak was required.



After being comfortable all set, Murray played an atrocious tiebreaker. A succession of short balls and unforced errors were punished and the Scot quickly found himself 2-6 down. He promptly double faulted before stalking back to his chair with a scowl.

Janowicz, icy calm up to this point, now began to look like a player in his first Slam semi. An unforced error and two double faults at the start of the second yielded the first break of the match. Murray fought through a series of edgy service games but managed to maintain the advantage and eventually take the set.

Any thoughts of a quick conclusion in Murray's favour were quickly extinguished by an early break of serve for Janowicz's. Murray fought hard to overturn the deficit, but was teetering on the brink. The Scot's baseline game was in disarray and his earlier service success was absent.

Dramatic changes in momentum are something of a theme in Murray matches, and once again the Scot recovered from a seemingly doomed situation. Six games in succession secured the set from 1-4 down and Murray had one foot in the final.

With the clock ticking towards 20:30, the match umpire controversially opted to suspend play and close the roof. Murray's joy at winning the set was quickly replaced with rage and he argued at length with the officials, to no avail.

When play resumed nearly half an hour later the world number two channeled his anger. Janowicz wilted under a fusillade of howitzer ground strokes and pin-point serving. Murray cantered to victory, losing just two points on his serve and breaking Janowicz twice. Fittingly the final shot of the match - a punishing return winner - mirrored the one that earned Murray his first Wimbledon final. On that occasion he simply looked at the heavens; this time round he raised his arms in jubilation and roared in delight.

Novak Djokovic awaits in the final.
add comment | 126 comments
hope you do Andy proud boogers - am so proud of him.  He showed such strength of character and also intelligence and beat JJ at his own game with phenomenal serving (and of course returning).
July 05, 2013, 10:06 PM
By Ruthie

I was surprised to see how easily Andy started handling his serve, and JJ really couldn't handle somebody actually returning it -  well he's probably not used to it. In the 4th set he clearly got angry and lost the plot, he was missing a vast majority of returns on 1st and 2nd serve.
July 05, 2013, 10:08 PM
By laundry

I make that 23 wins from last 24 matches on grass, and 17 wins in a row. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
July 05, 2013, 10:14 PM
By TheMadHatter

I make that 23 wins from last 24 matches on grass, and 17 wins in a row. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Spot on, but it might be 18 matches in a row.
July 05, 2013, 10:15 PM
By Connor

I was surprised to see how easily Andy started handling his serve, and JJ really couldn't handle somebody actually returning it -  well he's probably not used to it. In the 4th set he clearly got angry and lost the plot, he was missing a vast majority of returns on 1st and 2nd serve.
I was too laundry. I knew he deals well with big serves from tall guys but he just read it from the word go and ended up with much better serving stats himself.
July 05, 2013, 10:16 PM
By Ruthie

In comparison to the first Sf, andy's match was somehow ugly. JJ was unable to return properly, made a lot of UE (thank God), Andy read the serve better from set to set, yet rallies were a rarity.
July 05, 2013, 10:19 PM
By counter_ puncher

I'm going on holiday tomorrow feeling very happy, but will have to stay in our cottage on Sunday afternoon to watch the final.  Can't wait <g>  What a cracking match and my swear box has totally overflowed.  I am not a fan of Jerzy.
July 05, 2013, 10:19 PM
By FCR

Was rooting for Andy all the way here, despite being a JJ fan as well.

Andy needs this more than JJ does and I kind of wanted JJ to be tought a lesson, which he was.

Andy was not his best level but I feel he is saving that for the Final, and he was solid when he needed to be. MON' Andy for the Final.
July 05, 2013, 10:21 PM
By ProdigyEng

here's the bbc report, which includes the match stats which are phenomenal I think
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/23201318

I know Andy may not have been at his best level but it would have been very difficult to be so against a player like jj who doesn't give you any rhythm.  I think in the circumstances he played amazingly well and showed what a true champion he is.
July 05, 2013, 10:21 PM
By Ruthie

Andy only got broken once in the match, that is very good for him. If he can serve and return that well against Djokovic we will be in with a shot, I felt Andy's baseline game was actually his weakest part of the match strangely.
July 05, 2013, 10:23 PM
By laundry

add comment | 126 comments
Paris: 27 October - 2 November
How many Grand Slams will Murray win in his career?
1-2
3-5
6-8
9+