Wimbledon Semi-Finals: Murray vs Tsonga
Posted on July 5, 2012 by Sam Foster
British hope, but very much Scottish player Andy Murray has played some wonderful stuff so far and has consistently justified why he is mentioned along with the likes of Djokovic when the destinations of Grand Slams are discussed. Much was made about the considerable easing of the draw after the shock departure of Rafael Nadal and although Murray’s camp predictably dismissed the early significance, the reality is that they would have been just as excited as the most ardent fan.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is no spot-kick for the Scot though. A second semi-final in as many years for the darling of the men’s game, along with consistent results for almost three years have convinced everybody that the Frenchman’s place at the business end of the game is guaranteed for some time.
Tsonga has threatened to worry supporters during his run to the last-four but despite three four-set matches, two of which after he fell behind 1-0, there have never been any sustained anxiety over his tournament life. The argument against Tsonga lies in the personal history between the two players.
Murray has dominated the world number six in their last four meetings, including, crucially on grass. The records show that their record on the surface actually stands at 2-1 Murray, however, that success for Tsonga was back in 2004 and can be completely ignored in calculations.
Tsonga is a much better player than the one who eventually got swept aside by Murray at the last-eight stage here in 2010, but that improvement has been matched, if not bettered, by the Scot. The French number one hosts no demons and subsequently is not afraid of passing the finish line, but again nether is Murray, and on all evidence, it would be purely speculative to expect the lower ranked man to upset the form book.
The selection here is for Murray to win in four sets and keep the domestic dream of blunting 76 years of British failure at Wimbledon. Murray may not have been able to compete with Fred Perry (the last British champion did win the world table tennis championship five years before his first SW19 title after all) but he has more than enough for this opponent.