Radio Sandwell Sport

Andy Murray battles to reach Queen's final

2013-06-15 22:51:31

Andy Murray

Andy Murray banished any thoughts of his recent back injury as he reached the Aegon Championships final with a superb win over fourth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The world number two was kept waiting on another rain-interrupted day at Queen's Club, but came through 4-6 6-3 6-2 against the Frenchman.

"I'm playing well," said Murray. "I'm hitting the ball well, just sometimes making some bad choices or some poor mistakes.

"That will come with playing matches, so it's been a very productive week for me and it's great to be in the final.

"With the match tomorrow and a good week's practice before Wimbledon, it's looking good."

He will play defending champion Marin Cilic, who beat Lleyton Hewitt 6-4 4-6 6-2, in the final.

Sunday's title decider has been brought forward to 12:00 BST, with more rain forecast later in the day.

Poor weather meant Murray and Tsonga did not get under way until 18:07 BST in their semi-final, and the Scot went close to falling a set and a break behind before hitting top form.

Murray was rampant in the closing stages and secured his fourth and most impressive victory of the week, coming after a month out and against a recent French Open semi-finalist.

The same cold, blustery conditions that have blighted the tournament all week saw the schedule rearranged after an afternoon of rain.

Hewitt and Cilic had played four games on Centre Court before the stoppage, and when they finally returned four hours later the pair were moved to Court One.

"I was disappointed, obviously," said Hewitt. "To play a semi-final of a tour event, especially one like this, on Court One in front of a few people is not the ideal situation that you want to play in."

Murray and Tsonga might have taken centre stage but their match began in a low-key atmosphere.

Tsonga saved an early break point with a big serve and forehand before moving 0-40 up in the following game, only for Murray to fight back impressively and hang on to his serve.

The Frenchman then made the first breakthrough at 4-4 after a searing backhand return took him to 15-40, and Murray double-faulted to hand over the game.

Tsonga did not return the compliment, taking the set with an ace, and looked well set when he earned two break points at 3-3 in the second.

In adversity, Murray found his best form, saving the first with a big serve and the second with a bold approach to the net and a firm volley.

Andy Murray

It was the spark that the top seed required and he followed up with a ferocious return game that broke down the Tsonga backhand and helped him level at one set all.

Murray was well and truly on the front foot now and he grabbed control of the match in a dramatic third game of the decider, watching as Tsonga saved six break points with some fine serving before he finally cracked and sent a backhand wide.

With just one win in eight previous matches against Murray, belief was not exactly coursing through Tsonga and his challenge quickly evaporated as he was broken again, to love.

Murray thumped down his fifth ace of the day on match point, and on Sunday he will get the chance to overtake the likes of Pete Sampras and his coach Ivan Lendl as a three-time champion at Queen's.

Murray has an 8-1 record against Cilic, but insisted: "It will be a very tough match. He plays well here.

"He's won nine matches in a row, and he's beaten some very tough, top grass-court players this week."


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