Andy Murray wins through to Wimbledon semi-final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga


Andy Murray reached the
Wimbledon semi-finals for the fourth year in a row with a hugely
impressive victory over in-form Spaniard David Ferrer.

The fourth seed looked in big trouble at a set and a break down but he dug deep, saved a set point in an epic second-set tie-break and eventually came through 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (8/6) 6-4 7-6 (7/4).

On Friday he will play Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as he bids to become the first British man since Bunny Austin in 1938 to reach the Wimbledon singles final.

Murray faced an uphill task if he was to reach a fourth consecutive Wimbledon semi-final after dropping the first set on a tie-break to David Ferrer.

The 30-year-old Spaniard is having the season of his life.

He has already won four titles, a career high, and last month he reached the semi-finals at the French Open for the first time by beating Murray.

That was no surprise, clay is Ferrer's favourite surface, but he has taken that form onto grass, winning the warm-up event in 's-Hertogenbosch and now making the last eight here for the first time.

Murray played very well to beat Marin Cilic yesterday, but at the same time Ferrer was defeating Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets.

And Ferrer began brilliantly today, winning the first five points and then forcing Murray to save two break points.

The Scot had two chances to break in the next game but Ferrer held firm, and it was the underdog who drew first blood to move 3-1 ahead when Murray netted a forehand.

With two of the best returners facing one another, it was not surprising the games were close, and Ferrer kept his nose in front until he served for the set at 5-3.

Murray stepped up a gear on his return and saved one set point before breaking back courtesy of a great backhand pass.

Into the tie-break they went, and from 2-0 behind, Ferrer won the next four points to take control.

Murray retrieved the mini-break but then netted a forehand to go set point down at 6-5, and this time the Spaniard took his opportunity when the home hope again found the net.

Ferrer is renowned for his relentless hitting and great movement but he was showing how much else he has in his game, including decent touch at the net.

Murray had a chance to break in the second game of the second set but could not take it.

It was high-class tennis but the fourth seed certainly had another level to go up, particularly on his forehand.

That was his undoing again in the seventh game as he netted a shot he should have made to hand Ferrer two break points.

He saved both, and then a third that followed in one of the longest and most tense rallies of the match.

It felt like a big moment but instead Ferrer redoubled his efforts in the next Murray service game and this time he did break through when the Scot hit a drop shot wide.

That left the 30-year-old serving for the set but for the first time he wobbled, a series of errors allowing Murray to level at 5-5.

A second tie-break soon followed and again it was Ferrer who took control, winning the first three points and then opening up a 5-2 lead.

Murray fought back to draw level, though, and then saved the first set point, this time his forehand holding firm.

A big serve gave the fourth seed a set point and he took it 8-6 when Ferrer finally buckled after another brutal rally.

Murray's shot selection had been poor at times on big points but he showed admirable nerve and skill to see out the tie-break.

However, there was still plenty of work to do, and Ferrer had the first chance of the third set when he forced two break points in the fourth game, but Murray managed to stave off the threat.

Murray was struggling to make any headway on his opponent's serve, and both players had fallen below the very high standard of the first two sets.

Another tie-break looked on the cards, but a super forehand return from Murray earned him his first break point of the set in the ninth game and a chance to serve for it at 5-4.

He took it, a backhand proving too good even for Ferrer's remarkable defences, and did not allow his opponent a sniff of a break back as he clinched the set 6-4 with an ace.

It was a huge set for Murray - but with Ferrer on the other side of the net there was plenty of hard work still to come, and the Scot was starting to look a little weary.

Once again it was Ferrer who had the first sight of a break in the fourth set when he created two chances in the eighth game, but again Murray saved them, as he had on 10 of the 12 occasions he had faced break point.

The Scot's serve had not been quite as effective as it was against Cilic but it was still a reliable ally when he needed it, and Ferrer could do nothing with his chances.

As often happens, saving break points in one game led to chances in the next, and Murray was within spitting distance of the semi-finals at 15-40.

However, it was Ferrer's turn to dig deep, and the Spaniard celebrated when he finally came through the game.

There was just time for Murray to hold serve for 5-5 before the rain came and the match was suspended for the first time.

The players were not off for long, though, and when they returned both held serve easily to set up a third tie-break.

Murray was close again when he moved a mini-break ahead at 5-3, and he brought up his first match point with a forehand powered down the line.

An ace clinched one of his finest grand slam wins and set up a semi-final on Friday against fifth seed Tsonga, who he has beaten in five of their six previous meetings.


Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 5
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss