Wimbledon Men’s Final
Federer vs Murray 14:30 SS2
LONDON - He put his fans through the wringer again but Andy Murray stands one win from ending 76 years of British pain after reaching the Wimbledon men’s final on Friday - the only trouble is Roger Federer will be over the other side of the net.
The Scot’s nervy 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-5 victory over Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on a sun-kissed Centre Court gave the host country its first men’s finalist since Bunny Austin in 1938 but the 25-year-old will pay little heed to erasing that statistic.
Federer, who has made a career out of re-writing the record books, proved without doubt his powers are not fading when the 30-year-old outplayed reigning champion Novak Djokovic 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-3 to reach a record eighth Wimbledon singles final.
“I always say in whatever country I am I like to play the local hero, I kind of call them, and Andy is exactly that here at Wimbledon,” Federer told reporters after reaching his first All England Club final since beating Andy Roddick in 2009.
Murray’s win, ending a sequence of 11 semi-final defeats for British men at the grasscourt citadel, set up a dream final against the Swiss who is poised to return to the world summit after two years playing second fiddle to Djokovic and Rafa Nadal.
“It’s a great challenge, I’m not expected to win the match but if I play well I’m capable of it,” Murray told reporters.
With the Centre Court crowd cheering every point he won, Murray romped into a two-set lead before the showy Tsonga threw caution to the wind, staging a furious fightback that rocked Murray and threatened to set up a jittery fifth set.
“It’s going to be tough for Andy because he needs to recover from the last match and this match against me. He looked pretty tired at the end, so I don’t know how he will be physically,” the engaging Tsonga told reporters.
“I think you have to play your best tennis all the way through (against Federer), because he’s an unbelievable player on grass. He’s really relaxed and the balls go really fast.”
Federer almost lost in the third round to Frenchman Julien Benneteau and had back trouble against Xavier Malisse in the fourth but against Djokovic he hit the heights.