Murray through to Wimbledon final
Originally published on: 05/07/13 00:00
The world No.2 will face Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final after the Serb outlasted Juan Martin del Potro in a five-set epic, which lasted four hours and 43 minutes.
Murray fed off the home-crowd support as he recovered from dropping the first set to beat the talented 22-year-old 6-7(2) 6-4 6-4 6-3, with the final set being played under the Centre Court roof.
Janowicz announced himself on the world stage when he qualified for the Paris Indoors at the end of 2012 before embarking on a remarkable run to the final, in which he beat Murray along the way, and the challenge facing the British No.1 was evident from the off as the 6ft8 Pole fired down first serves in excess of 135mph in the opening few games.
It was Murray who had the first look at a break, however, at 2-1 in the first set, which was saved, and he was unable to capitalise on two more break points at 5-5 after Janowicz called upon his serve to get him out of trouble once more.
The world No.22, playing in his first Grand Slam semi-final, showed no signs of big match jitters as he opened up a 4-0 lead in the first set tiebreak after Murray sent a basic forehand volley sailing beyond the baseline. The No.2 seed cut the deficit to 4-2 but Janowicz’s power was simply proving too much to handle and at 6-2 an under pressure Murray threw in his second double fault of the match to hand the opening set to his opponent.
Buoyed on by the home support Murray broke in the first game of the second set and after confidently saving a break point on his own serve at 3-2 and three more at 4-3, the Scot went on to take the set 6-4 and level the match at one set apiece.
The umpire refused to entertain Janowicz’s request to close the roof amid fading light at the beginning of the third set but the Pole seemed to be seeing the ball perfectly when he earned himself a break point at the start of the set. Murray managed to fend it off with three aces in succession but there was nothing he could do in the fourth game when Janowicz demonstrated his arsenal of skills, wrong-footing Murray with a deep backhand slice to bring up a break point before an exquisite drop shot handed him the advantage.
The crowd volume continued to increase as the third set went on and Murray started to take the game to Janowicz, finding his targets more and more with his serve and forehand, and the US Open champion broke twice as he reeled off five games in succession to take the third 6-4.
A 25-minute delay ensued as the roof was closed, much to the dismay of Murray who told referee Andrew Jarrett the decision was just “unfair”.
Despite the complaints it was Murray who started the better of the two players when play resumed. He had the crowd on their feet at the start of third game when he ripped a forehand cross-court winner on the run before bringing up two break points, converting on the second when Janowicz netted an easy forehand to put last year’s beaten finalist 2-1 up.
The players exchanged service holds until 5-3 when Murray stepped up his level once more to break the Janowicz serve for the fifth time in the match, sealing the win with a forehand winner.