Second seed and tournament favourite Andy Murray beat France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a long five-set match to book a spot in the semi-finals of Wimbledon 2016. The Scot started off as the favourite going into today’s match, having decimated each of his opponents en route to the quarter-finals with ease.
Today, however, Murray was made to fight for the first set, eventually winning it in a 12-10 tiebreak. That set went to tiebreak on multiple occasions within the tiebreak, with Murray finally managing to come out on top.
With that momentum, the World No. 2 took the second set 6-1 and looked as though he would be able to finish matters off quickly on Centre Court today. That, combined with Tsonga’s ever-mounting unforced error count, led most to believe that the Scot would be able to tie matters up easily. Both players ran across court today to make shots, each rushing the net and slicing shots across.
Unfortunately for Tsonga, that strategy was rather hit and miss. Some classic lobs from Murray combined with Tsonga’s hit-and-miss tendency with slicing meant that he lost crucial points, points he could have easily won today. That howler of a statistic would eventually lose the Frenchman the match; Murray committed 22 unforced errors with a staggering 46 to Tsonga, who but for them would have won the match.
In the end, the Frenchman, seeded ninth at the tournament, petered out in the final set, sending shots long, although there were a number of exciting rallies between the pair, who turned corners around court and made some stunning shots nevertheless. Both players looked to be marginally fatigued during today’s match, which fizzled out in the end, finishing rather anticlimactically to the action that had looked to be on the cards in terms of the final set.
Murray will now play Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals; the Czech beat his French rival Lucas Pouille in straight sets 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 and will meet the Scot in the semi-finals on Thursday in what promises to be a cracker of a contest.
The highlight of the night was Roger Federer’s mammoth five-set win over big-serving Croat Marin Cilic in a closely fought game that had fans on the edge of their seats; Federer, who has progressed to his 11th Wimbledon semi-final, took 307 grand slam wins with that victory – the highest of any player in the history of the sport.
Federer will play Milos Raonic of Canada in his semi-final; given Raonic has beaten the Swiss early this year, Federer will be wary of his young rival.