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Dublin: 15 °C Saturday 8 August, 2020

Murray pulls it together in 5th set to see off Tsonga

The Scot had squandered a two-set lead, but will meet Tomas Berdych in the semi-final.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

ANDY MURRAY FOUGHT off a gripping comeback from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to advance to the Wimbeldon semi-finals 7 – 6, 6 – 1, 3 – 6, 4 – 6, 6 – 1.

The Frenchman managed to cut down his error count after Murray cruised into a two-set lead, and the mistakes came from Murray’s end in the third as two double faults arrived in Tsonga’s crucial break.

Tsonga’s serve looked strong again in the fourth, but Murray managed to take one of three break points in the seventh game. That was as good as it got though, as Tsonga gathered himself and powered to win the following four games and the set.

Murray scolded himself throughout, but the reprimands finally showed dividends early in the fifth as he took his turn to bounce back and win a stretch of games on the trot. The Scot won the first five in the final set and held firm to the finish.

Britain Wimbledon Tennis Source: AP/Press Association Images

Tomas Berdych will meet Murray after booking his first Wimbledon semi-final appearance since 2010 with a straight-sets victory over Lucas Pouille.

The 10th seed edged a tight opening set on No 1 Court before cruising through 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-2 to seal a last-four spot for the first time since he reached the final six years ago — when he lost to Rafael Nadal.

Britain Wimbledon Tennis Tomas Berdych is back in the final four at Wimbledon. Source: Alastair Grant

A competitive start saw both men pull winners out of the bag with Pouille showing no nerves on his Grand Slam quarter-final debut.

The Frenchman was not afraid to step in and vary his approach and he needed to as he broke back immediately after Berdych had taken the third game of the match.

Another opening passed by Pouille and he was made to rue that as Berdych took control early in the breaker, the 30-year-old racing into a 5-1 lead before converting his first set point with a booming forehand.

If the first had been close, the second was far from it as unforced errors crept into Pouille’s play, his first serve particularly at fault for handing Berdych a glut of points.

Berdych took the first three games and that was enough to go two sets up, Pouille finding some form but he was wasteful in promising positions – including a break chance in the fifth.

With a comfortable cushion, Berdych’s experience told as Pouille continued to struggle to find a consistent level, his Czech opponent producing a flurry of winners from both the baseline and the net.

Five successive games put Berdych on the brink of his second Wimbledon semi and he brought an end to Pouille’s best Grand Slam performance with a composed service game.

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Alan Waldron

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