Today’s semifinals repeated last year’s matches at the same stage of the tournament with one significant difference – Jo-Wilfired Tsonga participated in them instead of Tomas Berdych; both players born in 1985, defeated Roger Federer in quarter-finals, Berdych in four sets, Tsonga in five.
Just like four weeks ago in the Parisian semifinal, Djokovic was one win away from advancing to the No. 1 in the tennis world. Despite his extraordinary record this year (46-1), his win wasn’t certain because he had a tricky opponent, who had beaten him in 5 out of 7 meetings, moreover, Tsonga showed great potential this year overcoming on grass Nadal and Federer. And indeed, the initial phase of the match indicated on Tsonga, who broke Djokovic’s serve in the very first game. The Frenchman led 5:3, at 5:4 was two points away from winning the set (came back from 0/40), but made a double fault trying to get a point with a risky 2nd serve. In the tie-break decided the 6th point after Tsonga’s forehand error, which gave the Serb a 4:2 lead. He broke Tsonga twice in the 2nd set, also at the beginning of the 3rd, and the match seemed finished. However, Tsonga won three successive games from a 2:4 deficit. He lost his serve at 5 all, but broke back in the next game to “15”. In the tie-break he led 5:3, later on saved two match points (overhead at 5:6 & ace at 7:8) and used his bigger experience in long tie-breaks to win the set (11/9). Unfortunately, the end of that set cost him too much energy, and D’Joke won the first eight points of the 4th set. He focused on his own service games and seven games later celebrated (lying on back) the triumph, winning the third match point with a service winner. It’s his second main tour level victory with a set losing from a match point up #. “It feels amazing,” said Djokovic. “When I finished the match I didn’t know how to show my emotions. I was really happy. This is one of those moments where you can’t describe it with the words. You remember all your career, all your childhood, everything you worked for, that comes true now”. Stats of the match.
(1)Rafael Nadal d. (4)Andy Murray 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 [2:59 h]
Murray kicked off the match in a very good, offensive style, he kept it throughout the set and extended to the beginning of the following set. At 2:1* (30/15) for him in the 2nd set, there was a crucial moment of the encounter – Murray played a great return, Nadal only delivered a high ball onto Murray’s side, but the Brit made an awful forehand error which could have given him a double break point. Since that moment Murray lost his accuracy, concentration and seven consecutive games in the consequence, although he had not been forced to save a break point prior to that moment. Nadal once being ahead is amazing tough to catch up. There was a hope for the British fans as Murray had his chances to do it, losing 1:2 with a break down in the 4th set, but the Spaniard saved two ad-break points with an offensive attitude. Nadal improves his H2H record against Murray to 12-4 ##, having won their last four meetings (each of them in semi-finals). Murray, who has lost Wimbledon semi-final three years in succession, said: “[I’m going to] work harder than I ever did before. [I’ll] try and improve my game and get stronger. Be more professional. It’s a very tough era I think in tennis. Tennis right at the top of the game is exceptional. So not only to get level with those guys, but to push past them, you need to work harder than them.” Stats of the match
# Djokovic’s two wins with a match point-up losing sets:
## Grand Slam semi-finals between Murray and Nadal:
US Open, 2008: Murray d. Nadal 6-2, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4 Wimbledon, 2010:Nadal d. Murray 6-4, 7-6(6), 6-4 Roland Garros, 2011: Nadal d. Murray 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 Wimbledon, 2011: Nadal d. Murray 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4