Murray: I know it's going to be very difficult to get to the final
ANDY Murray will go into today's Wimbledon semi-final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga confident after a fine fortnight but banishing any thoughts of entitlement.
The world number four will start a grand slam semi-final as the favourite for the first time since he reached his second Australian Open final at the start of last year.
On that occasion, he beat David Ferrer, and it was the Spaniard who Murray defeated again on Wednesday in a tough four-set clash to set up today's meeting with fifth seed Tsonga, who he has beaten five times in six matches.
The British number one has certainly had to do it the hard way, beating Nikolay Davydenko, Ivo Karlovic, Marcos Baghdatis and Marin Cilic just to reach the last eight.
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Murray said: "When you start each tournament, you want to try and win. Obviously now that I'm in it, I'm not thinking, 'Great, I'm in the semi-finals'. You want to try to go further.
"But I know how hard it is. Everyone kept telling me I had such a hard draw and how tough it was going to be to get through. I managed to do that. I've beaten some very good players. It's been a good tournament so far.
"But I want it to continue. I'd be disappointed if I lost before the final in any tournament, but I don't just expect to get there. It's a very difficult thing to do. You need to make sure you perform properly."
Since that Melbourne victory over Ferrer, which was followed by a humbling final loss to Novak Djokovic, Murray has reached four more semi-finals and lost each one, three times to Rafael Nadal and once to Djokovic.
Of the top three of Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer, the Spaniard is the only player Murray has beaten at a grand slam, once at the US Open and once in Australia.
But Nadal has also been Murray's grand slam nemesis, beating the Scot six times, including the last two years here, both times in the semi-finals.
Murray was quick to reject claims he is happy not to be facing Nadal again, though. He said: "Just because I lost to him a few times, it doesn't mean I'd never want to play against him.
"I don't mind playing against Rafa. I've won against him in slams before. It's obviously a challenge, and he's played some very good tennis when we have played each other here.
"But Jo's a tough opponent. He's served very well this tournament. It's a very different match to playing against Rafa, but he's one of the best grass-court players in the world, that's for sure."
Tsonga can certainly not be underestimated. He has been a consistent improver since he made his senior breakthrough in 2007 and then reached the final of the Australian Open the following year, where he lost to Djokovic.
Last year, he became the first player to beat Federer from two sets down at a grand slam in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, with a brilliant display of power tennis.