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How The Murray, Janowicz Semi-final Was Won

Wimbledon, England

Janowicz, Murray© AFP/Getty ImagesAndy Murray came from a set down to beat Jerzy Janowicz in a late-finishing semi-final.

Andy Murray used the energy from raucous home support as he battled past Jerzy Janowicz on Friday night at The Championships to reach his second successive Wimbledon final. 

The Scot looked in real trouble against the big-serving Janowicz when he trailed 4-1 in the third set, having split the first two. But a slice of luck proved a momentum changer for Murray and, roared on by the 15,000-strong Centre Court crowd, he defeated Janowicz 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. looks at how the semi-final was won.

Murray will rue missed opportunities in the first set of his third meeting with Janowicz. But the Scot came up against ferocious serving on the three break point chances he created. At 1-2, 30/40, Janowicz sent down a 121 miles per hour second serve which Murray framed on return. Murray then had two set point chances at 15/40 on Janowicz’s serve in the 10th game. An unreturned first serve solved the first for Janowicz and the Pole fired a 118 miles per hour second serve at Murray to save the second.

In the ensuing tie-break, Janowicz attacked Murray off the ground, earning an initial mini-break with a piercing forehand into the corner. The Pole went up 5-2 and attacked Murray’s forehand again to draw an error for a 6-2 lead. Under pressure to avoid another powerful return from Janowicz, Murray double faulted to gift the 22 year old the first set. Murray’s average reaction time on the Pole’s first serve was just 0.6 seconds.

Read Exclusive Feature: Janowicz - The Pole-veriser

Murray made sure to strike the first blow in the second set. With Janowicz slightly slow to regain his concentration after winning the opener, Murray took full advantage of loose errors from the Pole, including a double fault on break point in the first game, to set up a 3-1 lead. Janowicz settled back into the match and from 1-3, 15/40 on serve, reeled off seven of the next eight points to put Murray in trouble. The Scot managed to keep Janowicz at bay with strong defensive skills, but after holding for 4-2, he was again tested in the eighth game at 15/40. Clutch serving from the Dunblane native thwarted the Janowicz comeback, though, and Murray went on to serve out the 44-minute set.

Janowicz stepped out with renewed vigour at the start of the third set and his constant pressure on Murray told in the fourth game. The Pole had been denied on two break points in the Scot’s opening service game, but earned another chance at 1-2, as Murray mis-timed a drop shot, which Janowicz picked up at the net for a winner. His celebration echoed around Centre Court. In taking a 4-1 lead, he struck his 101st ace. His serve was keeping the majority of the supporters out of the match. It silenced them.

A slice of luck brought Murray back into a set which had looked lost to him. A rallying forehand clipped the top of the net and trickled over, to give the Scot a break point in the seventh game. He chased down a drop shot and whipped a forehand winner to get the break back and proceeded to fire up the 15,000-strong crowd to get behind him. Rattled, Janowicz lost 10 points in a row as Murray reeled off five straight games, breaking the Pole in the ninth game before serving out the set. At 8:42pm, the match became an indoor contest as the Centre Court roof was closed. 

"The first set was a tough one to lose," said Murray. "I had chances on his serve and in the tie-break I missed balls I shouldn't have. He came up with some big shots and got on a roll. The third set was huge, coming back from 4-1 down with the crowd behind me."

After arguing strongly against a decision by the referee to close the roof, Murray looked sharp on the return from a 35-minute break. An inspired forehand winner from deep behind the baseline set him on the way to a break of serve in the third game and he gave the Pole no chance to fight back. With the excitement mounting on Centre Court, Murray moved in for the kill in the eighth game, breaking Janowicz once more and sealing victory with a forehand return winner.

"It was a tough situation (closing the roof), there was about 45 minutes of light left," said Murray. "I managed to regain my focus, took a shower and spoke to the guys a little bit. [Janowicz] was on his phone, calling someone. He seemed very, very relaxed considering it was the semis of Wimbledon! That's the way he is. He's very loose on the court."

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