Andy Murray shows champion's grit as he reaches Wimbledon semi-final

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Andy Murray needed five sets to see off Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and set up a Wimbledon semi-final showdown against Tomas Berdych.

Title favourite Murray allowed a two-set lead slip from his grasp as 12th seed Tsonga retaliated to draw level, only for the Scot to ease through the final set, winning 7-6 (12-10), 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1.

He faces a last-four clash with Tomas Berdych tomorrow with a tantalising final against Roger Federer on the cards.

When American hero Sam Querrey took down Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon last week, the implications for Roger Federer were quite clear: This could be the 34-year-old's last, best chance to add an 18th Grand Slam title to his legendary résumé.

Berdych, the 2010 runner-up, beat France's Lucas Pouille 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-2 to set up a 15th meeting with Murray - the Czech trails 8-6.

But Tsonga was not finished and took the next two. On the Tsonga serve, Murray put away a forehand volley victor and broke to go 2-0 up.

The world No.9 said that he "absolutely" didn't feel any frustration at being rejected by Lendl and suggested what happened in Melbourne last season hadn't put him on bad terms with Murray: "That's happened. He came up with some great passing shots".

"He played extremely well. He has been to the final here, beaten Djokovic and Federer at Wimbledon and is very very good", said Murray.

The Briton was calling for support from his team and checking his motivational notes at the changeovers as Tsonga launched an impressive fightback in the third and fourth sets. Tsonga was the first to be able to reach set point opportunity after a 40-30 win in the ninth game.

Tsonga found some magic of his own, threading a backhand down the line to save Murray's first set point, and he fought off a second and a third as well. By now, Murray was in complete control, a fact reaffirmed when he blanked Tsonga in the next game for a hat-trick of wins to start the second set.

Murray again broke Tsonga to go 4-2 ahead in the fourth only for the Frenchman to immediately break back before getting the better of the Scot again to take the match to a fifth and deciding set.

The 27-year-old Croatian won the first set on a tie-break before breaking Federer once and taking the second 6-4 to leave the 17 times major victor in serious trouble.

They had witnessed one of the tensest tie-breaks seen on Centre Court for many years between Federer and Cilic but this came close, with Murray forced to show the fighting skills for which he has become famous.

It was a punch to the guts for Tsonga, and he switched off in the second set, which Murray race through in only 26 minutes.

After losing the second set badly, Tsonga came back in the third. "It was a fantastic match". "I just tried to use all of my energy at the beginning of the fifth set to get up early and the crowd pumped up". It all melted together wonderfully.

The 69-year-old revealed he had been hooked on the latest series of Game of Thrones, saying: "It's fantastic, it's the most sensational television and I was very lucky to be a part of it".

Murray hasn't reached the final of The Championships under anybody else's guidance. Andy had to dig deep mentally to pull through.

"At the end of the fourth set it was really tough", Murray, who had not dropped a set to reach the quarter-finals, said in a courtside interview. He served first in that fifth set and that's why the first game was crucial. Two successive double faults cost Tsonga his serve in the fifth game, while a backhand victor saw the Frenchman level at 4-4. This is his 11th Wimbledon, so you would think there would be few new things left for him to experience.

"This determination, based on the work he has done, is a fantastic example to people".


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