Andy Murray was thankful he managed to compose himself after railing at Wimbledon officials for closing the Centre Court roof three-quarters of the way through his semi-final win over Jerzy Janowicz last night.
Murray will face Novak Djokovic in tomorrow’s final after he recorded a a 6-7 (2/7) 6-4 6-4 6-3 win over the 6ft 8in Pole, but the manner of his success was far from straightforward.
In the third set Janowicz started complaining about the light, but his complaints stopped as soon as he took the lead.
But when Murray regained the initiative, the Pole remonstrated with the umpire and, following the end of the third set, tournament referee Andrew Jarrett told the players the roof would be closed and the lights switched on, much to Murray’s annoyance.
The Scot was overheard on courtside microphones saying: “How long has be been complaining about the darkness? It’s not even dark.”
Murray said afterwards: “It’s a tough situation, there was probably 45 minutes of light left.
“I like to think it’s an outdoor event and we try to play as much as possible outdoors and obviously at that period I had just won five games in a row, but I managed to regain my focus.
“We had 20 minutes off the court, I took a shower and I spoke to (my coaching team) a little bit and got back to work.”
Murray revealed that 24th seed Janowicz was so relaxed during the 16-minute break off court that he took time to make a phone call.
The world No 2 said: “He was on his phone, he was calling someone. He seemed very, very relaxed, it was the semis of Wimbledon...
“But that’s the sort of player he is. He plays that way, he is very loose on court.”
Murray was elated at reaching his second Wimbledon final.
“I am obviously delighted,” he said.
“It was a very tough match, completely different to any of the other matches I played so far.
“He is a very talented and unpredictable player. He hit some huge serves out there and gave me very little rhythm. I am glad to get it done.”
Murray will face a similarly powerful opponent tomorrow when he takes on big-hitting Djokovic, who beat Juan Martin del Potro in yesterday’s other semi-final – a record-breaking five-set marathon which the Serbian edged.
“It will be a tough match, him and Del Potro played an incredible match and I saw some of the stuff they played. There were some great rallies,” Murray added.
“Novak was moving very well and it will be tough.
“I have played him once on grass at the Olympics last year [when Murray won] so I will take that thought into my head when I play him on Sunday.”
Murray said he felt different emotions to the ones he experienced last year when he won in the semi-final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
“It is very different to last year,” he said.
“I think this year has been a little bit different for me because there is a lot of expectations. I was almost expected to get to the final this year.
“Last year when I won my semi I was very emotional and (last night) I was just delighted to come through and get another chance at playing in a Wimbledon final.”
It would be wrong to say 6ft 8ins Janowicz is all serve.
His groundstrokes and movement are excellent for a man of his height and his fondness for the drop shot proved very effective with Murray pushed so far out of court.
A tie-break would settle the first set and it went wrong from the start for Murray, who missed a wild drive volley to trail 4-0 and double-faulted on set point.
But Janowicz lost his concentration at the start of the second set and two double faults allowed Murray finally to break through and ultimately take the set.
In the third set Janowicz continued to complain about the light but it did not appear to be hampering him and he pumped his fist as he finally broke the Murray serve with a delicate drop shot for 3-1. Murray created a break point in the seventh game, and he took it with a running forehand.
Suddenly Murray was playing more aggressively and he got his reward with a second straight break. That left the home favourite serving for the set, and he hammered down an ace to clinch it.
The decision to close the roof then sparked Murray’s discontent but when the players returned the row appeared to have given him impetus and he won the deciding set 6-3.