Majestic Murray torments Czech mate Berdych


They turned up in their thousands braced for more drama, but Andy Murray was in no mood to put a partisan crowd through another Centre Court soap opera as he cruised to victory over his Czech mate Tomas Berdych to reach a third Wimbledon final.

Murray had his adoring fans fearing the worst when he surrendered a two-set lead before beating Jo Wilfried-Tsonga to reach the semi-finals on Wednesday.

Two days later there was no such trouble, as the second seed overcame Berdych 6-3 6-3 6-3 in just less than two hours to set up a showdown with Milos Raonic on Sunday.

Canadian powerhouse Raonic ousted Roger Federer in a five-set classic to reach his first major final, but there was no Murray marathon in the second semi-final.

The steely Brit, favourite to win his second Wimbledon title this weekend and a third major, appears to be at the peak of his powers and has now reached every grand slam final this year.

He prowled around Centre Court like a man possessed in the sun and seems determined to grasp the opportunity presented by the shock early exit of Novak Djokovic at the All England Club.

Murray checked his notes between games and kept to the script, leaving Berdych still waiting for a first appearance in a slam final.

The Scot said an aggressive approach would be the key to ousting the 10th seed and it paid off, as Berdych was no match for the home favourite. 

Murray admitted the tension "spilled over" when he beat Berdych at the semi-final stage of the Australian Open last year, with the world number two's wife, Kim, swearing at her husband's towering opponent.

It was far more friendly this time around and there was very little for the Murray box to get wound up about as he went about his business with ruthless efficiency.

The British flags waved as he delivered a masterclass under the watchful gaze of coach Ivan Lendl, who will be eager to get one over old rival John McEnroe, now working with Raonic, on Sunday.

Berdych, unable to lure Lendl into his corner before his legendary compatriot opted for a reunion with Murray, was led a merry dance on a frustrating afternoon in south-west London.

Murray's aggression was controlled as the crowd sat on the edge of their seats, roaring in approval as he steered winner after winner past an outclassed Berdych.

The Murray rants were few and far between and certainly drew little reaction from Lendl, who sat casually behind his dark sunglasses like a seasoned poker player.

Pinpoint accurate serves, deft, measured winners and an incessant intensity, Murray certainly did not treat Berdych like a long-time friend who he has known since the age of 15.

Murray looked to the heavens after sealing a straight-sets win and he could well be lifting the famous trophy to the skies for a second time this weekend.