Murray closes in on glory
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:39
Not since Henry ‘Bunny’ Austin was defeated in straight sets by America’s Don Budge in 1938 has a home player in the men’s singles gone the distance in SW19.
Murray said: “Roddick’s one of the best servers in the game. So I’ll obviously have to return very well. He’s made two finals and been number one in the world and is a grand slam champion so it’s going to be tough.”
Murray again has been given the late slot favoured by television on Centre Court when he will hope to ride a fevered wave of support as he attempts to go one step further than Tim Henman achieved in four losing semi-finals.
Roddick, the top American who is seeded sixth, is under no illusions of what he faces.
“We might be able to count the people for me on this hand,” he said, holding up his right hand.
“But it will be something to remember. The crowd’s going to be electric. It’s going to be a great atmosphere and one I can certainly appreciate, even if it’s not for me.”
If Murray is to build on his impressive run so far he must tame the fastest serve in tennis. Roddick has served 139 aces this tournament, with his biggest serve to date clocking in at 141mph, albeit 14mph slower than his world record.
It is unlikely to be a match of extended rallies, although Roddick realises that he must be on top of all aspects of his game if he is to live with the shot-making variety of the British number one. And he is ready to grind out patient rallies with Murray.
“You’re going to have to do some of it,” admitted Roddick. “I’m not going to get into a match where we are both trying to poke the ball around on the court. That probably wouldn’t work. But you’re going to have to do it at certain times.”