Andy Murray will meet old rival Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final on Sunday after both men won through their semi-final ties on a thrilling day at SW19.
With home favourite Murray taking his regular early evening slot on Centre Court in the second last four clash against giant Pole Jerzy Janowicz, the first semi-final between Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro was meant to serve simply as a tasty appetiser for the crowd in wait for the British No.1.
But ultimately, it proved anything but as Djokovic and Del Potro played out arguably one of the best matches ever to be witnessed at SW19 – which crucially ended in a five set victory for the Serbian World No.1.
2009 US Open winner Del Potro had never really built upon his maiden Grand Slam success and the massive potential surrounding him until this summer but the signs had started to appear for the Argentine who coasted through impressively to the semis without dropping a single set, his latest triumph being a blow out of reliable yardstick David Ferrer in midweek.
No one predicted however that Del Potro was going to trouble the machine like Djokovic and those notions were enhanced when Djokovic broke serve late in the opener to take a one set advantage.
But Del Potro hit back, breaking midway through the second to square things up before the seismic battle nobody expected really began in the third.
Both men held firm on serve for what was truly twelve games of magical tennis as Del Potro and Djokovic laid into one another with an array of fabulous ground strokes and missile like forehand winners.
Fans got the tie break that the set warranted but it was Djokovic who raised himself to go 2-1 ahead before breaking his gallant opponent in early the fourth.
Del Potro responded nevertheless and broke back immediately before stunningly breaking Djokovic again to take the match into a decider.
Indeed, for around 20 minutes, the spectators had seen Djokovic completely outplayed for the first time, a credit to Del Potro who will undoubtedly win more Grand Slam titles if he can maintain his form.
With fitness a likely factor in the fifth however, Djokovic wrestled back the initiative and earned a comfortable break before serving out for a 7-5 4-6 7-6 6-7 6-3 result.
Andy Murray’s supporters looked physically drained themselves by proceedings by the time the Scot came out on court and the delay seemed to affect Murray also who was non-existent in a first set tie break that saw Janowicz take the lead.
Murray got his act together in the second to restore parity but was in real trouble in the third, falling 4-1 behind to his opponent who was ripping up the court with 140mph serves and 110mph winners.
With closure of the roof praying on an angry Janowicz’s mind, Murray sensed potential weakness in the 22-year-old and as he did against Verdasco, the US Open champion rallied gamely before moving through the gears to reel off five games in a row to take the third set.
Suspension for closure of the roof then controversially arrived much to the annoyance of Murray who was fuelled with momentum, but it didn’t make a difference upon resumption as Murray secured a vital early break before serving out the match with ease, 6-7 6-4 6-4 6-4.
Despite all of the shocks and drama of Wimbledon 2013, it will be the top two players in the world facing off on Sunday afternoon, whilst on Saturday, Sabine Lisicki takes on Marion Bartoli in the Women’s Singles Final after the pair enjoyed victories over Agnieszka Radwanska and Kirsten Flipkens respectively in the semis.