Murray one step away from Wimbledon dream

Andy Murray cemented his place in the Wimbledon final today following an electrifying and controversial clash with 6ft 8in Polish player Jerzy Janowicz.

Murray one step away from Wimbledon dream

Andy Murray cemented his place in the Wimbledon final today following an electrifying and controversial clash with 6ft 8in Polish player Jerzy Janowicz.

Murray, 26, held both hands aloft as he looked to the skies after being cheered to glory by a lively crowd on the world's most famous tennis lawn.

The victory means Murray will now bid to become the first British player to lift the men's trophy since Fred Perry in 1936.

But the match was not without incident, after closing the roof caused a 20-minute break in play - to the apparent frustration of Murray who branded the decision "ridiculous" and unfair.

It came after Murray's opponent Janowicz, 22, repeatedly complained about the light and asked for the state-of-the-art roof to be drawn over the court.

Murray, 26, unleashed an angry tirade after referee Andrew Jarrett appeared to capitulate to his opponent's request.

The Scot received a standing ovation as he left the court following the match.

Speaking afterwards, he said he was "delighted" with the victory.

Murray's mother Judy and girlfriend Kim Sears smiled broadly as he ousted Janowicz while cheers erupted on a packed Murray Mount.

Victory came after the British number one found himself on a knife-edge at the start of the tie and his imposing opponent appeared to be getting the upper hand.

Janowicz, 22, the first Polish man in history to reach the semi-finals of a grand slam, is known for his outbursts on court and Murray had predicted the semi-final bout would be a "very tough match".

On one occasion he complained that Janowicz had been talking during a point before the Polish upstart claimed the light was fading and asked organisers to stop play to close the court's state-of-the-art roof.

Murray unleashed a furious tirade on court after referee Andrew Jarrett appeared to capitulate to his opponent's request at 8:40pm, when the Scot found himself at two sets to one.

"It's ridiculous, it's not even dark," Murray said.

"This is an outdoor tournament, I don't understand these rules - there's no rules."

He added: "This is not fair. The whole reason we are stopping is because of him."

Fans appeared to share his views and a groan echoed round the Wimbledon grounds as play stopped.

Commentator Sue Barker branded the decision "unbelievable".

"I do have immense sympathy with Andy," she added. "I feel very, very sorry for Andy".

British women's number two Heather Watson expressed her frustration on Twitter.

"Very poor!! Awful decision about the roof," she wrote.

Earlier the British number one arrived on the hallowed turf of the All England Club's main lawn to a roar of support from the crowd.

Actor Jude Law was among a host of famous faces who took their seats in the Royal Box to watch the action.

The 'Alfie' star was joined by boxer Amir Khan, veteran broadcaster David Frost and Anna Wintour, the editor of American Vogue.

Meanwhile Pippa Middleton put in a second appearance at the All England Club with her boyfriend Nico Jackson.

The Duchess of Cambridge's sister, 29, who watched from the Royal Box on Monday with her brother James, took a seat in the crowd this afternoon to watch Murray sail into the final where he will face world number one Novak Djokovic.

Cliff Richard, who famously entertained fans at Wimbledon when rain stopped play in 1996, also turned out to watch the dramatic contest, making his third visit to the grand slam this year.

Away from Centre Court, thousands of fans clambered on to Murray Mount to watch the match on a big screen.

Many took up positions hours before the clash after sprinting to find a spot on the steep bank as they arrived at the grounds.

Barely an inch of grass was visible by 11am and groups of supporters were urged to move to Court Two where organisers set up another screen this afternoon.

Today's encounter came after Murray found himself at the brink of defeat during his quarter-final bout before he clawed his way back to victory with the clear backing of fans.

Murray later said that support was crucial to his campaign.

A buzzing Centre Court crowd today appeared to have taken his words on board and spurred the player on with bellowing cheers.

His win came after Prime Minister David Cameron, former boxer Lennox Lewis and British women's number one Laura Robson offered their encouragement.

The PM, who has been accused of jinxing players with his messages of encouragement, wrote: "fingers crossed for @Andy_Murray at #Wimbledon."

Earlier this week he wished Robson, 19 luck before she bowed out of the grand slam and last year his visits to a string of Olympic events coincided with British hopefuls losing out on medals.

But Murray has said he is not superstitious and that the PM's messages have "absolutely zero bearing" on the outcome of his matches.

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