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Andy Murray shows champion's grit as he reaches Wimbledon semi-final

Andy Murray showed the grit of a champion as he battled his way into another Wimbledon semi-final.

But the Scot put his fans through the mill in a dramatic encounter with Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga that had his fans on Henman Hill spilling their Pimm's in consternation and hiding behind their hands.

The pair looked emotionally shattered as they shook hands over the net on Centre Court after a gruelling five-set match that saw each man parry and riposte in equal measure.

Murray had not lost a set in the tournament before the encounter, but after taking the first set in a tie break put his foot on the accelerator in the second.

Tsonga fought back, and fans groaned as Murray faltered and stuttered in the topsy-turvy encounter.

And when the match was tied at two sets all, the juggernaut of Murray support seemed as though it might be prematurely derailed.

But Murray dug deep, and when he won the final point to take the fifth set 6-1 the roars of relief could be heard all across SW19.

Fans walking through the grounds after the match backed him to go all the way.

Sisters Alex and Sophie Jones, from Glasgow, were wrapped in a Scottish flag and beamed with pride at Murray's victory.

Alex, 23, who lives in London, said: "It was amazing. He put us through a bit of strife but we got there in the end. We always knew he would do it.

"It was a bit of a fright and we were a bit panicked. He screamed in the match something like, 'I am not losing this', and then he didn't.

"I think he's going to be tired but I think it's going to spur him on."

Sophie, 22, added: "This is the first time I have ever watched a professional tennis match and the first time I have ever seen Scotland win at anything in my life."

On Henman Hill, David Patrickson and his wife Jinette were enjoying a last glass of wine after enjoying the match from seats in Centre Court.

Mr Patrickson, 53, from Doncaster, said: "It was excellent. After the second set I thought it was going to go to Murray easily, but obviously things didn't go to plan.

"In one way it's a good thing because he had it a little bit too easy along the way. It is probably a bit of a wake-up call."

Mrs Patrickson added: "We certainly got our money's worth."

David Beckham and his sons Romeo, 13, and Cruz, 11, watched the action from behind Murray's box, where Judy Murray took up her seat after watching her eldest son Jamie in the doubles.

Adventurer Bear Grylls and his wife Shara watched on from the Royal Box, along with Poldark actor Aidan Turner.

Pippa Middleton, sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, arrived with her parents Carole and Michael and was later spotted watching the Centre Court action with James Matthews, the brother of Made In Chelsea star Spencer and rumoured to be her boyfriend.

Zara and Mike Tindall were also among the crowds.

Murray's victory has earned him a semi-final match-up with 10th seed Tomas Berdych on Friday - and made him favourite with the bookmakers to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

Coral has him at 3/1 to win the accolade, and has cut its odds on him winning his second Wimbledon title to 4/7.


From Belfast Telegraph