9 Jul 2016

Murray to play Raonic in Wimbledon final

6:59 am on 9 July 2016

Andy Murray fulfilled home dreams as he thrashed Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-3 6-3 in less than two hours to reach his third Wimbledon final where he'll face Milos Raonic

British tennis player Andy Murray.

British tennis player Andy Murray. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Murray, who broke a 77-year title drought for British men with his 2013 finals victory, will be playing for his third grand slam title after also winning the US Open in 2012.

"I'm very happy, it was a good match today," Murray said. "To make a Wimbledon final is a good achievement - but I've got one more to go.

"The older you get you're not sure how many more chances you have to get to a final. But you are also able to deal with the nerves better."

Berdych was one of Murray's most tricky opponents earlier in his career but the Czech had had no success since 2013 against Britain's leading player, losing their last four encounters.

Murray could not have made a better start, breaking for 2-0 when Berdych double-faulted, but the Czech seized on some short balls from his opponent to hit straight back.

The Scot knew he would have to try to control the baseline to quell the power of his opponent and he did a better job of that in the eighth game, earning his reward with another break.

That left him serving for the set and he clinched it with an ace.

Berdych was looking to reach a grand slam final for the first time since here in 2010, when he blasted Federer and Djokovic off court only to lose to Rafael Nadal.

Murray began to probe again in the fifth game of the second set but some big serving from Berdych helped him fight off two break points.

The world No.2's frustration was clear as he sat down on his chair and he found himself embroiled in his own lengthy service game.

He came through it having withstood two break points and then took his chance in the next game, piling the pressure on Berdych, who dumped an attempted drop shot into the net.

The Czech, who had lost his previous 17 matches against top-two opponents, looked bereft of ideas and Murray nailed a passing shot down the line to make it four games in a row and take the set.

The grip Murray had on the match gave the occasion an oddly low-key feel but Berdych could do nothing to generate jitters, missing with his forehand time and again.

Another one gave Murray the first break of the third set to lead 3-1 and, with less than two hours on the clock, he soon found himself serving for victory.

He clinched it with a forehand that Berdych could not get back over the net.

In the earlier semi-final Milos Raonic made Roger Federer feel his age as the Canadian sharp-shooter bombarded Centre Court with a succession of 140 mph missiles to flatten the seven-times champion and reach his first grand slam final.

Raonic appeared to be down and out as he trailed Federer by two-sets to one and 15-40 in the fifth game of the fourth set but somehow he managed to cling on for a 6-3 6-7(3) 4-6 7-5 6-3 win and became the first Canadian man to reach a major final.

"It's an incredible comeback for me," said the sixth seed, who will be seeking to win his first grasscourt title when he meets 2013 champion Andy Murray on Sunday in a repeat of last month's Queen's Club final.

"I was struggling throughout the third and fourth sets, he was playing some really good tennis and just on a little opening I managed to turn it around and finish it off in a great match.

"I showed a lot of emotion today, always positive, and that's what got me through. Mentally I had one of my best matches in my career and I think that's what made the biggest difference."

Federer, who had survived a five-set thriller two days ago against Croatian Marin Cilic, added: "He fought. He believed, like I did against Cilic. Credit to him for hanging in there."