Andy Murray survived an epic five-set comeback victory and has advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals to face Polish star Jerzy Janowicz. It's an exciting match of contrasts and possibilities, and there is some history and mystery for tennis fans seeking a new possible rivalry. Murray is the seasoned veteran, looking to finally track down the Wimbledon title for all of Great Britain. Janowicz is the 6'8" powerful upstart, playing with house money and a sense of confident entitlement. Get prepared for an intriguing blockbuster of adrenaline-filled outbursts. Neither player will be reticent about showing his emotions and unleashing his fury. It's big-time tennis with no less than the Wimbledon final on the line. What advantages does each player possess, and who will be more resilient? We are about to find out.
Murray has had a wealth of Grand Slam experience and big matches. Wimbledon is his backyard and the launching pad to his career improvement in summer 2012. There, he reached the finals, and followed this up with a gold-medal victory at the Olympics in London. He holds a major advantage in this regard. Janowicz is blazing a new trail in his young career. He has not advanced past the third round in any Grand Slam event until now. They have faced each other only two times, with very interesting results. Murray easily defeated an 18-year-old Janowicz in a 2009 Davis Cup match, but showed unusual and perhaps questionable etiquette. He seemed to deride Janowicz's opening game double fault, according to Richard Jago of The Guardian. There were several other shouts of "Come on" in his straight sets victory. In November, 2012, Janowicz upset Murray 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-2 on the fast indoor courts at Paris. This led to his finals appearance, where he fell to David Ferrer. It also awakened the world to Janowicz's potential. Now he comes into the semifinals knowing he can beat Murray. This will be huge for his confidence. Either player can say he has the historic edge. Murray has the better career and is at home, but Janowicz has to feel that he can beat him one more time.
This is Murray's greatest opportunity to win Wimbledon. He will fight to the death before letting this slip away, and it's unlikely he will fall to his inexperienced opponent. He has all the ingredients and intangibles to control the match, make adjustments and persevere in a tight match. Following the Verdasco match, he will be alert. He also has a score to settle with Janowicz after his loss at the Paris Masters, so incentive will not be a problem. Janowicz can only win if he resembles something close to the legendary form of Pistol Pete Sampras. It's unlikely, but he also has a puncher's chance to do exactly that. If Janowicz wins he must do it in three or four sets. Janowicz might get one set off Murray, but the semifinal will likely see Murray pull away by the third set. Take Andy Murray in straight sets, but expect the sets to be tight with a slim margin of a few points. It could be an entertaining match with a lot of barking and fist pumps.