Murray Fights For Wimbledon Final

Andy Murray faces the world number one and reigning champion Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals at Wimbledon later.

With the nation in the grip of Murray mania - Andy will be aiming to make history as he continues his bid to end Britain's 75-year wait for a homegrown champion.

Not since Fred Perry lifted the trophy in 1936 has a Briton won the coveted trophy.

Murray, who said he cannot wait to start playing today, was mobbed yesterday as he practised.

Hundreds of fans watched and gathered round him as he left Court 17 after preparing for Nadal.

Away from SW19, spectators were desperate to watch him make history - paying £3,000 a ticket for the repeat of last year's semi-final which Nadal won in four sets.

Edward Parkinson, director of vendor viagogo UK said: "If Murray defeats Nadal on home soil tomorrow we expect tickets for the final, which are currently trading for up to £12,000, could double or even treble in price.''

One batch of tickets sold on the Ticketmaster website yesterday were snapped up in just minutes.

Up to 15 million viewers are expected to watch the Centre Court clash.

It follows Novak Djokovic's tie with Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga which begins at 1pm.

So it is possible viewing figures will be even higher with people tuning in on their return from work.

But Peter Mooney, of legal firm Employment Law Advisory Services, said workers would skive today, causing a dip in productivity.

He said: "Bearing in mind that Andy Murray has played a blinder, people are getting excited and if it is also warm the temptation to skive is there.

Productivity in the workplace will be hit.

Any chance you get you are going to take, aren't you?''

One place where the Scot will be cheered on louder than anywhere else is in his home city of Dunblane.

Tom McLean, landlord of the Dunblane Hotel, which screens Murray's games, said: "The feeling is that he can go all the way to the final.

If he gets through to the final we will have the champagne on ice on Sunday ready to celebrate.''

Here's a look at how thing's have gone when the pair have met in the past.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN - January 2007 - NADAL 6-7 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-1

A teenage Murray produced one of the best performances of his early career before Nadal came from behind to secure a fourth-round victory just before 2am in Melbourne - three hours and 51 minutes after the match started.

HAMBURG MASTERS - May 2008 - NADAL 6-3 6-2

Nadal proved too good in the third-round clash in their first meeting on his favourite clay surface as Murray was shown he still had some way to go on his 21st birthday.

WIMBLEDON - June 2008 - NADAL 6-3 6-2 6-4

The Spaniard outclassed Murray on Centre Court, with the British player's first grand slam quarter-final lasting less than two hours. Nadal went on to end Roger Federer's Wimbledon domination in a classic final.

US OPEN - September 2008 - MURRAY 6-2 7-6 4-6 6-4

Murray produced arguably the best performance of his career to claim his maiden victory over world number one Nadal and reach his first grand slam final, where he would lose to Federer. Tropical Storm Hanna suspended play for the day with Murray two sets up but the Dunblane-born player, who hit 21 aces, did not let the interruption derail his momentum.

ABN AMRO WORLD TENNIS TOURNAMENT - February 2009 - MURRAY 6-3 4-6 6-0

Murray claimed his second ATP Tour title of the year with a battling display in Rotterdam. Both players struggled with injury, although Nadal's knee problem looked more serious than his opponent's damaged ankle.

MONTE CARLO MASTERS - April 2009 - NADAL 6-2 7-6

Murray produced some scintillating tennis in the second set of his first clay-court semi-final but ultimately had to bow to the master of the surface as Nadal moved towards his fifth consecutive triumph in the tournament.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN - January 2010 - MURRAY 6-3 7-6 3-0 (retired)

Murray exhibited some of the best tennis of his career to take a commanding lead before Nadal pulled out with knee problems as the grand slam quarter-final slipped away. Again Murray would lose to Federer in the final.

WIMBLEDON - July 2010 - NADAL 6-4 7-6 6-4

Murray went into the semi-final with hopes high of a first Wimbledon final appearance but Nadal, who went on to lift his second SW19 crown, was simply too good. The Scot led the way in most statistics until midway through the third set and, had he taken a set point in the tie-break, the result may have been different.

TORONTO MASTERS - August 2010 - MURRAY 6-3 6-4

One of Murray's best tournaments as he dominated Nadal on his favourite hard courts and then went on to beat Federer in the final to successfully defend his title.

ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS - November 2010 - NADAL 7-6 3-6 7-6

One of the best three-set matches of all-time had the O2 crowd enthralled. Murray played some superb tennis in the semi-final but Nadal came out on top despite winning less points than his rival. The match lasted more than three hours and a weary Nadal subsequently lost the final to Federer.

MONTE CARLO MASTERS - April 2011 - NADAL 6-4 2-6 6-1

An elbow injury contributed to Murray's third-set demise but until then the Scot had been arguably the better player. Considering he was playing undoubtedly the world's best clay-courter that was some achievement.

FRENCH OPEN - June 2011 - NADAL 6-4 7-5 6-4

Murray's Roland Garros title bid came to an end in the semi-finals as Nadal celebrated his 25th birthday in style. The Spaniard was in superb form and withstood Murray pressure in all three sets to triumph, and two days later he fended off Roger Federer to land the title.

 

 

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