Court Report: Semi-final turned out just like Brad said it would
23:17 GMT, 6 July 2012
Sportsmail's Brad Gilbert wrote on Friday about how Andy Murray’s backhand down the line could drag Jo-Wilfried Tsonga out of position and cause him problems.
Needless to say, Murray used it to great effect. The best example was at 3-1 and 0-15 in the first set, when he moved the Frenchman out wide before dispatching a winner into the empty court with the following backhand.
Why Oxfam want Fed win
Those of a charitable nature could be forgiven for not joining the rest of Britain in clamouring for a Murray victory tomorrow, as Oxfam will benefit by more than 100,000 should Roger Federer lift the crown.
In 2003 Nick Newlife, from Oxfordshire, put 1,520 on six-time champion Federer winning seven Wimbledons by 2019 at odds of 66-1.
He died in 2009 but left the betting slip, potentially worth 101,840, to Oxfam in his will. Perhaps Murray could donate part of the 1.15m cheque he would get for winning the title.
Chapter one of How To Play Andy Murray For Dummies: don’t give him a target to hit. Tsonga did just that from the start, needlessly charging into the net time after time when the preceding groundstroke wasn’t up to scratch.
That meant Murray had plenty of time to pick his shots and he duly fired an endless stream of forehand and backhand winners past the Frenchman.
Une Grande Victoire
Murray's victory extends his very impressive record against Frenchmen at Grand Slams. He has now won 15 consecutive games since losing to Tsonga in Australia in 2008. For the record, the list of victims reads: Richard Gasquet four times, Gilles Simon, Tsonga twice, Fabrice Santoro, Michael Llodra twice, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Marc Gicquel, Florent Serra, Eric Prodon and Jonathan Eysseric.
Jo’s short game let down
One of the things Tsonga had to do if he was going to win the match was win the short rallies — Murray grinds you down in long exchanges. Tsonga has the big serve and forehand to do that but he failed to produce.
In fact, Murray won 59 per cent of rallies of two shots or fewer in the match — the only dip was the third set when he only won 39 per cent — and it turned out to be a crucial factor as the Frenchmen staged a comeback to win the set 6-3.
New balls please
Every man on Centre Court felt sympathy for Tsonga at 5-3 and 15-15 in the third set. Arriving at the net, Tsonga felt the full force of a Murray forehand in a rather sensitive area. He collapsed to the floor in pain, briefly got back up and then sunk down again.
A concerned Murray apologised but Tsonga recovered quickly, winning the next three points to win the set.