Yesterday, Andy Murray – the British number one – was in imperious form as he defeated number five seed Jo Wilfred Tsonga in four sets; to win by 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-5. This was Murray’s fourth consecutive attempt at reaching a Wimbledon final and he is now the first British player to reach the tournament’s final since 1938.
Murray came straight out of the blocks serving the first game to love. He followed this up with a break to take lead 2-0. Tsonga managed to keep himself in contention for the set, but never looked to have an answer to Murray’s serve and the Scotsman took the set 6-3.
It was the same story for the second set, as Murray barely lost a point on serve throughout. This enabled Murray to put enormous pressure on the Frenchman’s serve by hitting some astonishing returns including a number of ferocious backhands, as Tsonga tried to approach the net. Eventually this pressure told and Murray broke to take the lead in the second set 3-2. Murray was playing particularly ruthlessly on Tsonga’s second serve, which meant Tsonga had only won 13% of the points played on his second serve. Murray continued putting big serves into the court and eventually took the second set by 6-4.
In between the second and third set, Tsonga called for his trainer and this seemed to make all the difference, as Tsonga broke the first game of the set. This seemed to give him the confidence in his own service game, as he produced his finest tennis of the match. This seemed to coincide with a laxness in Murray’s play, which was a complete contrast to the Murray of the first two sets. Tsonga held his service games with powerful stroke-play and took the third by six games to three.
The fourth set was the closest of the match, as both players battled to take control of the set and ultimately match. The tension was unbearable as Murray lifted his game to break Tsonga to bring the set and match within his grasps, but the Frenchman was not going to be beaten that easily. Tsonga struck back with some powerful stroke-play to muscle a break back off the Scot. The match looked set to go to five sets, as Tsonga hit a powerful forehand to force break points from Murray, but Murray dug deep to secure his own break at 6-5 and hit a thunderous running forehand to take the match.
After the match, the relief was evident on Murray’s face as he held back tears on centre court. The question now is will Murray be able to overcome the mighty Federer and become the first Brit to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry 76 years ago.