Murray survives Tsonga comeback to reach semis

Wed Jul 6, 2016 4:48pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Second seed Andy Murray survived a ferocious Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fight back to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals for the seventh time, winning the Wednesday's second Centre Court blockbuster 7-6(10) 6-1 3-6 4-6 6-1.

After Roger Federer's miraculous earlier escape act against Marin Cilic, when he recovered from two sets down to win, 12th seeded Frenchman Tsonga threatened something equally improbable as dusk settled at the All England Club.

When the maverick Frenchman blazed away, firing winners from here, there and everywhere, to take the third and fourth sets Murray was wobbling. The crowd could barely believe their eyes.

But just when the match appeared to be spiralling out of control for the agitated Scot, the 2013 champion rediscovered his early authority to dominate the decider and set up a semi-final with Czech 10th seed Tomas Berdych.

"It was a tough match. At the end of the fourth set it was really tough," Murray, who had not dropped a set to reach the quarter-finals, said in a courtside interview.

"To lose that set 6-4 was hard but I tried to use all my energy at the start of the fifth to get myself pumped up, and the crowd, and thankfully got the break and managed to hang on."

After the memorable Federer exploits there was a danger that Murray's match against Tsonga might prove a mere footnote.

Those fears vanished in a high-quality opening set in which Murray was dragged into an epic 22-point tie break despite forging ahead with an early break of serve.   Continued...

Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 6/7/16 Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates during his match against France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga REUTERS/Paul Childs