Andy Murray held his nerve to tame Jerzy Janowicz 6-7(2) 6-4 6-4 6-3 on Friday and set up a Wimbledon final showdown against top seed Novak Djokovic.
The leading two players in the world will meet in the final on Sunday after Murray recovered from the disappointment of losing the first set to beat 24th seed Janowicz in two hours and 52 minutes on Centre Court.
Murray said his feelings were very different to last year when he made the final for the first time, but lost to Swiss great Roger Federer.
“The first time it was a mixture of emotions – I was relieved last year,” he said in his post-match press conference.
“This year I’m happier to win the match. There is less tension.”
A surprising statement from someone who is carrying the hopes of a nation on his shoulders.
When asked what Fred Perry, the last British man to win Wimbledon in 1936, would say to him before the final, he jested, “Why are you not wearing my kit.”
Raising the roof
The first set was dominated by serve but after Murray squandered a break point in the third game followed by two set points on the Janowicz serve at 5-4, it went to a tiebreak.
The Pole then hit top gear and powered through it 7-2.
The pendulum, however, swung immediately back Murray’s way at the start of the second set.
He broke the giant Pole in the first game and clung on to his own serve to level the match.
Janowicz was far from disheartened, however, and continued to send bullet serves across the net, following them up consistently with heavy duty ground strokes that pushed Murray deep in the court.
He broke early in the third set and led 4-1 to regain the initiative in his first grand slam semi-final.
Murray, however, is an old stager having won six previous semi-finals and drew inspiration from the home crowd, winning five games in a row to take it 6-4.
As the evening gloom set in on Centre Court, officials made the decision to close the roof and finish the match under the lights, to the annoyance of Murray who protested vehemently.
The move did little to halt the Briton’s momentum, though, and he broke for a 2-1 lead in the fourth and took Janowicz’s serve again to reach his second successive Wimbledon final.
“The first set was tight, I had a few chances but he came out with some big shots and he got on a roll, but I managed to turn it round,” he said.
“I am in a better place mentally than before – a little calmer going into Sunday. But you never know I might wake up and be unbelievably nervous.”
One things for certain – many British tennis fans will be. They do not want more tears from their leading man.