Murray brought the crowd straight back into the match, when he broke back in the seventh game with an exquisite drop shot. Riding the turnaround, Murray held serve to claw back into the set at 4-4. The Brit took advantage of a double fault to break in the next game and inch closer to wrapping up the set.
His fifth game in a row came with an ace, like a ribbon on a present to complete the impressive turnaround to take the third set. With the momentum firmly on his wing, Murray was clearly peeved by the referee’s decision to suspend play to close the roof. But Janowicz had sought the change and the umpire would not have denied the Pole at that stage.
Janowicz’s eighth double fault offered two break points to the hurt but determined Murray. Janowicz saved the first with a powerful smash, but slumped into the net with his forehand on the next point to leave Murray gritting his teeth at 2-1 in the fourth set.
With time running out, Janowicz sought to force the issue in the eighth game, but Murray was more than prepared for the challenge. Playing with aggression, both men found themselves at the net playing an almost doubles like rally, before an alert Murray won the point to the rousing rapture of the packed centre court crowd.
Denied an opening, Janowicz was serving at 3-5, only a game away from walking through the exit gate. As his double fault numbers reached double figures, Janowicz found himself two points away from defeat. The Pole provided some more assistance when he dumped an eleventh double to offer match point to Murray.
A return winner off a second serve on the next point was enough to see off Janowicz into the dark night. On a night when he needed his serve the most, Janowicz was deserted by his good friend – eleven double faults and 55% first serve percentage proved too dear against someone of the calibre of Murray.
Besides, Murray had 15 unforced errors compared to a whopping 43 for Janowicz. While Murray kept his serve numbers in the 70′s, Janowicz could only muster 27 of 58 points on his second serve. “Such a shame, I didn’t play my best tennis today but deep down I’m really happy,” said the content Janowicz.
“I’ve only played him (Djokovic) on grass here at the Olympics,” said Murray. “I’ll take that into Sunday.” And for the third time in four grand slam events, it will be Murray against Djokovic contesting for the big prize.
For all the noise about an upset riddled Wimbledon, we have the top two players contesting for the greatest tennis prize on offer. There is really not much amiss after all.