Andy Murray defeats Jerzy Janowicz to reach Wimbledon final
WIMBLEDON, England -- After all the bracket-busting calamity of the fortnight, it will be No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 2 Andy Murray in Sunday's Wimbledon final.
Murray booked his spot with a 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Jerzy Janowicz on Friday. The No. 2 seed rallied to win the final five games of the third set and rolled in the fourth after a controversial referee's decision to prematurely close the roof over Centre Court as light began to fade.
Murray hit 20 aces with one double fault, while Janowicz, who served 30 aces in his straight-set quarterfinal win over Lukasz Kubot, had nine aces and 11 double faults.
"I'm obviously delighted with that," Murray said, on making his second Wimbledon final. "Very tough match today. Completely different from any match I've played so far. He's very talented and unpredictable."
Game-by-game analysis of Murray-Janowicz after the jump.
4:35 pm. ET | Andy Murray defeats Jerzy Janowicz 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the Wimbledon final.
Murray holds and we've got the point of the match! Great cat-and-mouse brings both men to the net and this time it's Murray who goes straight for Janowicz. Janowicz gets his racket on the ball to get it back and the point ends with Murray chasing down an overhead and putting it in the open court. The spectators (and Murray) go nuts.
Janowicz serves to stay in the match and he double-faults at 30-all to give Murray match point. It's all he needs. Murray redirects a forehand return down the line on a weak Janowicz second serve and he's back into the Wimbledon final!
4:29 pm. ET | Janowicz holds, trails 3-4*.
Murray holds behind some more quality serving. He's hit 20 aces to just one double fault. Compare that to Janowicz, who's supposed to be the big server here but has 8 aces to 9 double faults.
A good service game from Janowicz, though, as he holds at love.
4:24 pm. ET | Janowicz holds, trails 2-3*.
Easy hold for Murray. He climbs back from 40-love on Janowicz's serve to get it to deuce, but the Pole fires two big serves to stay in this.
4:15 pm. ET | Murray breaks, leads *2-1.
Janowicz holds to 30 and Murray holds at love. It will take a few games for Janowicz to get acclimated to the roof conditions. Players who haven't played under it before have said it feels like you're playing in an aquarium.
Stunning running forehand pass from Murray to get to 0-15 and a woman interrupts Janowicz's serve by yelling "COME ON, JERZY!!!" The crowd shushes her and he then shushes the crowd back, much to its amusement. He would do well to try to get back on its good side. He's the bad guy right now.
At 15-30, Janowicz throws in a horrible double fault. Went way too big and the toss was errant and hits it a foot long. Break points for Murray. Janowicz nets a forehand approach and Murray gets the break.
Well, that will calm all the Brits down. Especially tournament referee Andrew Jarrett.
4:05 pm. ET | Roof closure for light.
Lots of debate in the press room about whether the decision to close the roof between sets was the right one. I'm inclined to say no. Play until you can't see anymore and then close the roof. It's an outdoor tournament and you can't let a player's constant complaining force you to alter the conditions. The closed roof clearly plays into Janowicz's favor, much like it did last year for Roger Federer in the final against Murray. Is it any coincidence that Janowicz's best career result before this tournament was the final of the Paris Masters? That's an indoor tournament.
3:46 pm. ET | Murray wins the third set and leads 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4.
At 40-30, Murray draws Janowicz into the net again and this time Janowicz goes right at Murray, hitting him in the shoulder. Janowicz throws his hands up in apology but...come on.
Murray finishes it off with his 18th ace of the match. Surely the roof will close now.
Tournament referree Andrew Jarrett is out to tell Murray that they're closing the roof and Murray can't believe it. He's actually laughing. "It's not even dark! We can play for at least 45 minutes or an hour more. The only reason you're closing the roof is because he's been complaining about it." This is an animated as I've ever seen Murray on court. Like...ever. That shows you how much of a difference Murray thinks the roof will make. It absolutely favors Janowicz.
Murray's fellow players aren't cool with the decision either.
Journalists aren't exactly sympathetic to Jarrett's decision either.
3:32 pm. ET | Murray holds and breaks, leads *5-4.
Authoritative love hold from Murray, who hits three straight aces to seal the game.
Jerzy doesn't like the taste of his own medicine. Murray drop shots him and he hits the reply into the tape. The crowd goes nuts and so does he, slamming his racket into the netcord as the crowd's elation turns to boos. He steps to the line and double-faults to give Murray three break points at 0-40.
Murray gets the break when Janowicz's slice goes long and he's won four straight games. He'll serve for the set.
3:25 pm. ET | Murray breaks, trails *3-4.
Love hold for Murray.
Janowicz's hands are just so good. He seems to be able to pull off any shot he wants, whether it's on the volley or carving up a drop shot. His slice from the back of the court is underrated too. He can really work that ball.
HOMETEAM NETCORD! At 30-all on Janowicz's serve, Murray hits a weak forehand that just trickles over the tape. He's got break point. He gets a look at a second serve and this time the drop shot won't work. Janowicz hits a great one but Murray races there in time and pounds a forehand cross court winner. Centre Court erupts.
That break was huge.
3:18 pm. ET | Janowicz breaks and holds, leads 4-1*.
Another break point for Janowicz, well-earned with some beautiful slices deep into Murray's backhand corner and Murray finally nets one. This time, on his seventh break point of the match, Janowicz converts and lawnmowers his celebration. That was a horrible point from Murray. Bails out too early in the point, hits a hanging drop shot and Janowicz gets there in enough time to break out the paper and make some tea. He feathers a drop shot winner and wags his finger at his box.
Fantastic second serve return from Murray at 40-30 eventually earns him a forehand error off Janowicz's racket. Big serve from Janowicz earns him game point and he bombs an ace out wide to consolidate the break.
This is really dangerous for Murray. If he goes down 2-1 and then roof closes? I really don't like his chances. He needs this set badly.
3:08 pm. ET | Janowicz holds, leads 2-1*.
Janowicz holds and gets two break point at 15-40 thanks to a netcord winner. Murray saves both with aces and throws one more in for good measure. He holds as Janowicz sends a backhand return wide. Janowicz is now 0 for 6 on break points and they're a combined 1 for 13. The Brit continues to out-ace the Pole 12 to 4.
"COME ONNNNN! HIT THAT!" Murray screams, as he leaves a ball short and Janowicz pummels it for a forehand that Murray can't get back. Janowicz holds.
"What he means, 'As long as we can?' We waiting for rain, or what?" Janowicz is still rattled by all this roof business. He continues to insist the umpire give him a specific timeframe and Jake Garner's not doing it. "For me it's too dark. So it means we cannot."
Play carries on.
2:55 pm. ET | Murray wins the second set 6-3 to level the match at a set apiece.
Easy hold by Murray at 15 to close out the set. On to a third.
It's almost 8:00 pm in London. Typically there's enough daylight to play until 8:30 or 9:00pm, at which point the roof will need to close so they can finish under the lights. Chair umpire Jake Gardner is informing the players that the roof may close at some point and Janowicz is confused. He just wants to know what time they plan on closing it. For now it will remain open.
2:46 pm. ET | Murray holds, leads 5-3*.
More break points for Janowicz as Murray sends a backhand unforced into the net to fall behind 15-40. He saves one when Janowicz swings wildly at forehand that goes wide, and then gets to deuce with a well-timed ace.
Big roar from Janowicz when Murray sends a backhand into the tape, clearly violating the unspoken tennis etiquette rule about not cheering an opponent's unforced error. Jerzy cares not for your rules. His cheer is short-lived. Murray saves his third break point of the game with an ace out wide and he eventually hold when Janowicz puts a forehand into the net.
2:37 pm. ET | Janowicz holds, trails 3-4*.
Janowicz gets 0-30 on Murray's serve and when Murray pulls him into the net with a good drop shot in the middle of the court he flicks it right at Murray, who dodges it and watches it sail long. Well now it's personal. Janowicz sends a big forehand long on the next point.
At 30-30, Murray has a backhand volley to put away and he decides to go behind Janowicz but puts it long. Here's Janowicz's first break point.
Murray saves it with some classic Murray defense to offense. He trades big forehands cross courts and his defense is insane. He makes Janowicz hit one shot too many. The Pole nets a forehand and Murray eventually gets the hold. That was masterclass from Murray.
2:26 pm. ET | Janowicz holds, trails 2-3*.
Love hold for Murray.
I'm not too surprised Janowicz was able to take that first set (I picked Murray in four). But what he had to do to win it was red-line his game, and over the course of a best of five set match, red-lining isn't going to work. He was on fire in that tiebreaker with how big he was hitting his forehand, but now he's come back to earth. He finished the first set with 16 winners to 11 unforced. Halfway through the second set and he's at 2 winners and 8 unforced.
Murray earns two more break points but some big serving gets Janowicz out of it.
2:22 pm. ET | Janowicz holds, trails 1-2*.
Murray consolidates the break and Janowicz holds. The Pole hasn't been able to get a break point on Murray's serve all match. Not sure he'll be able to in this set. Murray is serving incredibly well and the early break should be enough for him to hold out the set.
2:15 pm. ET | Murray breaks, leads *1-0.
Murray had his chances in that first set. He had three break points and didn't put one return back. He's got two more break points in the first game here and again, he misses the return. But this time he gets some charity from Janowicz, who double-faults twice in that game, including on break point, to hand over the break.
2:10 pm. ET | Janowicz takes the first set tiebreaker 7-2, wins the first set 7-6 (2).
Janowicz holds at love and we're into a tiebreak.
1-0, Janowicz: Huge cross-court forehand winner to earn the mini-break.
2-0, Janowicz: 113 mph second serve to the body handcuffs Murray on the return and Janowicz pounds another forehand to earn the point.
3-0, Janowicz: Janowicz goes 138 mph down the tee. Untouchable.
4-0, Janowicz: Bad swinging forehand drive from Murray goes sailing long. Ruh roh, Britain.
4-1, Janowicz: Murray curls an ace up the tee.
4-2, Janowicz: Murray gives him no-pace ball after no-pace ball until Janowicz finally comes in behind a forehand and Murray eventually races up to thread a short backhand pass.
5-2, Janowicz: Absolute grip and rip from Janowicz. Whips a forehand cross court winner. Insane.
6-2, Janowicz: Forced forehand error from Murray. The Pole is just wailing on the ball.
7-2, Janowicz: Murray double-faults on set point.
Janowicz takes the first!
2:00 pm. ET | Andy Muray holds, leads 6-5*.
Murray gets a look at two break points at 15-40 and Janowicz insanely serves his way out of it. He hits a 118 mph second serve to save the second one and lets out a huge "COME ON!!!" Janowicz holds as Murray sends a return wide and that has to be a huge confidence booster. Murray now 0 for 3 on break points in this set.
Some nice play from Janowicz to get to 30 on Murray's serve, but the Brit holds. He's serving great so far. 69 percent first serves in with 5 aces.
1:51 pm. ET | Murray holds, leads 5-4*.
Not many players would have the guts to hot drop shot after drop shot against the speedy Murray. Jerzy Janowicz is not like many players. Pretty sure he's hit at least two in every game. Another crafty dropper draws Murray into the net and Janowicz is there to hit his short reply back into the open court to hold.
Here's a funny stat: Murray is out-acing Janowicz at the moment, 3 to 1. The Brit holding easily and this is looking like we're headed for a tiebreak.
1:46 pm. ET | Murray holds, leads 4-3*.
This match is going to be a liiiiittle different from the first one. Not a lot of long rallies, and most of the points are ending on either winners from Janowicz or errors from Janowicz. Murray is steady and trying to make Janowicz play. 10 winners to nine unforced for Janowicz already, Murray has 6 winners to just one unforced.
1:37 pm. ET | Muray holds, leads 3-2*.
Murray earns a break point but he chunks a return on a 112 mph second serve. Murray was miffed he missed that return. Those opportunities won't come often against this serve. Janowicz holds. And an easy hold for Murray as well.
1:29 pm. ET | Murray holds, leads 2-1*.
Nervy start from Janowicz, who puts a few forehands into the bottom of the net. Easy hold for Murray.
On the first point of Janowicz's service game, he hits one of his famous drop shots. Those well-disguised droppers drew Murray crazy in their first and only match, last year at the Paris Masters, and this time he's ready for it. He races forward and puts away the backhand pass.
Janowicz is amped. He pops a first serve ont he chalk at 133 mph. He hits a second serve in the mid 110s as well. Oh look, a 139 mph ace to earn game point and he converts. Good hold for him.
Another clean hold for Murray.
1:17 pm. ET | Warm-up
It's not easy to sit for hours to wait for another match to finish, and it's even harder when you're talking about a Wimbledon semifinal. Murray and Janowicz are just coming onto court at 6 p.m. local time, which means if this ends up being a three-hour affair, we may have to close the Centre Court roof to finish this match under the lights. Murray won't want that to happen, as the closed conditions would shift things in Janowicz's favor, with his big serve and groundstrokes.
As the match is set to start, there are some funky shadows across Centre Court.
Murray will serve first. I know everyone is probably trying to catch their breath after the scintillating 4 hour and 43 minute display from Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro in the first men's semifinal. But Wimbledon waits for no one.
Ready? Tough luck. Play.
No. 2 Andy Murray will meet No. 24 Jerzy Janowicz in the semifinals of Wimbledon on Friday.
Murray, a semifinalist for the fifth consecutive year, is looking to return to the final for the second year in a row. The 2012 runner-up rallied from two sets down to beat the unseeded Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals, Murray's first test after rolling through his first four matches without dropping a set.
Janowicz, playing only his fifth Grand Slam tournament, became the first Polish man to reach a major semifinal thanks to four victories against unseeded players and a win over No. 15 Nicolas Almagro. He leads the tournament with 94 aces, 31 more than anyone else. He has recorded 30 aces twice, including in his straight-set victory over fellow Pole Lukasz Kubot in the quarterfinals.