Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Place in the Final Isn't So Certain; Murray Will Not Take Semi Win for Granted

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Place in the Final Isn't So Certain; Murray Will Not Take Semi Win for Granted

Article excerpt

Byline: Eleanor Crooks

ANDY Murray will go into today's Wimbledon semifinal against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga confident after a fine fortnight but banishing any thoughts of entitlement.

The world number four will start a grand slam semi-final as the favourite for the first time since reaching his second Australian Open final last year.

On that occasion he beat David Ferrer, and it was the Spaniard who Murray defeated again on Wednesday in a very tough four-set clash to set up today's meeting with fifth seed Tsonga, who he has beaten five times in six matches.

The British number one has had to do it the hard way, beating Nikolay Davydenko, Ivo Karlovic, Marcos Baghdatis and Marin Cilic to reach the last eight.

Murray said: "When you start each tournament, you want to try and win. Obviously now that I'm in it, I'm not thinking, 'Great, I'm in the semi-finals'. You want to try and go further.

"But I know how hard it is. Everyone kept telling me I had such a hard draw and how tough it was going to be to get through. I managed to do that. I've beaten some very good players.

"I'd be disappointed if I lost before the final in any tournament, but I don't just expect to get there.

"It's a very difficult thing to do. You need to make sure you perform properly."

Since that Melbourne victory over Ferrer, which was followed by a humbling final loss to Novak Djokovic, Murray has reached four more semi-finals and lost each one, three times to Rafael Nadal and once to Djokovic.

Of the top three of Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer, the Spaniard is the only player Murray has beaten at a grand slam, once at the US Open and once in Australia.

But Nadal has also been Murray's grand slam nemesis, beating the Scot six times, including the last two years here, both times in the semi-finals.

Murray was quick to reject claims he is happy not to be facing Nadal again, though, saying: "Just because I lost to him a few times, it doesn't mean I'd never want to play against him.

"I don't mind playing against Rafa. I've won against him in slams before. It's obviously a challenge, and he's played some very good tennis when we have played each other here. …

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