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Murray makes history to earn Federer clash in Wimbledon final

updated 12:19 AM EDT, Sat July 7, 2012
Andy Murray points to the sky after completing his semifinal victory at Wimbledon over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Andy Murray points to the sky after completing his semifinal victory at Wimbledon over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Andy Murray becomes first British man to reach Wimbledon final for 74 years
  • Murray beats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in four sets in their semifinal
  • Murray to play six-time champion Roger Federer in Sunday's title match
  • Federer was a 6-3 3-6 6-4 6-3 winner over defending champion Novak Djokovic

(CNN) -- Home hope Andy Murray will play six-time champion Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final as both made tennis history Friday.

Murray became the first British man to reach the final in 74 years after seeing off Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in the second semifinal.

Bunny Austin was the last home player to achieve the feat in 1938.

Earlier Friday, Federer beat top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic in four sets to reach a record eighth final.

If Federer claims the title Sunday he will equal the record of seven for the Open Era, held by American great Pete Sampras and extend his grand slam tally to 17.

Expectation weighs on Andy Murray at Wimbledon every year, with the British crowd eager to see one of the nation's male tennis players win the singles title for the first time since 1936. Expectation weighs on Andy Murray at Wimbledon every year, with the British crowd eager to see one of the nation's male tennis players win the singles title for the first time since 1936.
Britain expects
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Victory for fourth seed Murray would give Britain its first male grand slam winner since the legendary Fred Perry in 1936.

He had to battle for nearly three hours on Centre Court before ending the brave challenge of fifth seed Tsonga, who mounted a sterling recovery after trailing by two sets.

But the 25-year-old Murray finally worked two match points as he led 6-5 in the fourth set and dramatically took his chance.

A forehand winner was initially called out, but Murray challenged the decision and was proved to be right, sealing his victory.

There's a bit of relief, excitement. It's tough to explain, it was such a close match
Andy Murray

An emotional Murray hugged Tsonga before moving into the middle of the court to give his trademark "fingers-in-the-air" gesture, the tearful Scot looking to the sky.

"There's a bit of relief, excitement. It's tough to explain, it was such a close match," Murray told BBC Sport.

"Both of us had chances, I was up a break, he came back, then he had break points at 4-4 in the fourth and I managed to hang tough enough," he added.

Federer had rolled back the years to dispatch world number one Djokovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in just two hours 19 minutes.

"Obviously I'm ecstatic, it was a great match and I was able to play some fantastic tennis," Federer told BBC Sport after his victory.

The 30-year-old Federer had never lost a semifinal at Wimbledon and maintained that streak with a peerless performance against the Serbian, who has dominated the men's game since the start of last year.

Obviously I'm ecstatic, it was a great match and I was able to play some fantastic tennis
Roger Federer

After the opening two sets were shared, the third set proved pivotal with both men having chances to break their opponent's service.

At 4-5 down, Djokovic allowed Federer a set point which he took after a thrilling exchange to take a two sets to one lead.

"The first two sets went really quickly and the third was key to the match.

"I was able to step it up and get a bit lucky maybe," Federer added.

A single break in the fourth set was enough to leave the third seed to serve for his place in the final and he completed victory on his first match point.

Federer has not won a grand slam title for two and a half years since his 2010 Australian Open success where he beat Murray in the final.

If he beats the Scot again Sunday he will also return to the top spot in the world rankings.

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