Andy Murray showed his mettle after epic Jo-Wilfried Tsonga tussle at Wimbledon

Andy Murray let out a guttural roar, made seven of his trademark fist pumps and then quickly reset his sights after a five-set thriller at Wimbledon.

‘There’s no way I’m losing this match!’ he yelled when threatened by an impressive Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and he delivered on his word.

France’s Tsonga has now lost three times to the world number two at the All England Club, as the Scot set up a semi-final clash with Tomas Berdych with a 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1 victory.

But this was his most serious examination yet, a proper test and a close encounter of the intense kind.


The first set was settled by a tie-break in which both players held set points before Murray raced to the second set, dropping one game as he doubled his advantage in just 25 minutes.

But Tsonga famously came from two sets down to beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon five years ago and is not known for quitting.

He suddenly found his serve and his range as Murray surrendered his first sets of the tournament as the match edged towards a nerve-jangling decider.

But, in the end, his experience and fitness made the crucial difference.

He emerged for the fifth set with energy renewed. He fired himself and the crowd up with a positive approach that was rewarded with two quick breaks, decisively reestablishing momentum in match that lasted just under four hours.

“I was definitely tested a lot and that was a really hard, hard match to come through,” said Murray.

“I think it will give me a bit of confidence. It can help to go through games and stages in matches that are challenging.

“If I’m in that position in the next couple of matches, I know what is needed.

“That’s why it’s important to try to use the crowd to your advantage, because they do make a difference. In long matches, tough matches, even if it’s half a percent difference, it’s good.

“Right now I feel great right because I won. Normally it’s the next day when you feel stiff and sore and your body hurts a bit.

“That’s why it’s great to have tomorrow, a day of rest and recovery. Hopefully I’ll feel good on Friday because that’s another very tough match.”

Murray has a mixed record against Berdych, edging their head-to-head statistics with eight wins and six defeats.

He beat him in the semi-finals of the US Open on the way to his first Grand Slam victory in 2012 and has won their last four encounters.

But they’ve never played on grass, a surface where Berdych certainly feels at home, losing in the final of Wimbledon six years ago to Rafael Nadal.

But the 30-year-old Czech also believes Murray is playing the most aggressive and creative tennis of his life and is quick to paint himself as the underdog.

“I’ve played well against Tomas in the last couple of years but in the past my results against him have not been so good,” added Murray.

“Obviously he’s a big powerful guy who serves well and when he is dictating the points, he hits a big, big ball. Ideally, I don’t want to have him dictating all of the points because then I’ll be doing a lot of running.

“We’ve never played on grass before, so I’ll have to have a look and see some of his matches to get an idea of things he does differently, what his strengths are, maybe some of the things he struggles with a bit.”

However, Jamie Murray was on the wrong side of a five-set scoreline in the men’s doubles quarter-finals.

Along with partner Bruno Soares, the number three seeds lost 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 10-8 to Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Murray was a beaten finalist at Wimbledon 12 months ago with John Peers but claimed the Australian Open title with Brazilian Soares earlier this year.

However, the effects of a five-hour tussle in the previous round might have been the telling difference.

Elsewhere, seven-time champion Roger Federer came from two sets down and saved three match points to beat Marin Cilic and takes on Canadian sixth seed Milos Raonic in the other men’s singles semi-final.

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