x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Andy Murray gets the final push that Britain wanted

The Scot's semi-final victory means he is the first home challenger to reach the summit clash since 1938.

Andy Murray is the first Brit since 1938 to reach the final.
Andy Murray is the first Brit since 1938 to reach the final.

Andy Murray ended Britain's 74-year wait for a male Wimbledon finalist last night as the world No 4 clinched a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 semi-final victory over French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Murray's triumph consigned a miserable run of 11 semi-final failures by British men to the history books and emulated the achievement of Bunny Austin, the last home challenger to reach the Wimbledon men's final back in 1938.

The 25 year old had lost at the semi-final stage for the last three years, joining Tim Henman, Roger Taylor and Mike Sangster on the list of British near-misses at the All England Club.

But decades of anguish faded from view in front of a jubiliant Centre Court crowd as Murray booked a showdown with six-time champion Roger Federer in Sunday's final.

While Murray's victory has put one ghost to rest, the Scot will not be truly satisfied until he has become the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.

Murray's meeting with Federer will be the Scot's fourth attempt to win a Grand Slam final following defeats at the Australian Open in 2010 and 2011 and the 2008 US Open.

"It's tough to explain [how it feels]. It's a bit of relief and excitement," said Murray who appeared close to tears as he celebrated on court.

"I started the match really well but one loose game let him back in. It was so close in the last two sets. He was hitting some unbelievable winners and had break points at 4-4, but I managed to hang tough there and win it.

"I tried to stay calm, but it's not easy. There's a lot of pressure and stress but you need to just focus on the next point and not think about what happened in the past.

"It was an emotional end to the match. I've just got to keep it together for the final. It will be one of the biggest matches of my life."

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