ANDY MURRAY channelled his anger to roar past Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz and into a second consecutive Wimbledon final.
Murray was furious at the decision to shut the Centre Court roof after he had recovered from going a set down to lead the 6ft 8in 22nd seed.
But when the players returned from a brief spell in the dressing rooms, Murray was far superior on the indoor court and secured a 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 victory to set up a final meeting with Novak Djokovic on Sunday.
The world number two will bid to go one better than 12 months ago, when he tearfully lost to Roger Federer, and become the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win the singles title.
Janowicz’s rise over the last 12 months from Wimbledon qualifier to semi-finalist has been quite something. His rise to prominence came last year at the Paris Masters, where he beat Murray en route to the final, and he was clearly a danger to the Scot.
The Pole should have been nervous, especially having had to wait for five hours while Djokovic battled past Juan Martin del Potro, but he loves the big stage and his serve was straight into a groove.
Janowicz regularly hammered down 140mph serves as he kept Murray at bay and the line judges on their toes.
Murray had fleeting chances in the first set, a break point in the fourth game and two set points at 5-4, but he could not get a return in play on any of them.
It would be wrong to say Janowicz is all serve. His groundstrokes and movement are excellent for a man of his height and his fondness for the drop shot was proving 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.
Janowicz had not threatened Murray’s serve – remarkably, the Scot was winning more than 80 per cent of points on his often-vulnerable second serve – but he brought up a break point in the next game only to net a forehand.
Murray was not making life easy for himself and three more break points arrived at 4-3, but this time it was his turn to serve his way out of trouble.
The Scot was rock solid serving out the set, and Janowicz began to push umpire Jake Garner on when the roof would be closed as the final rays of sun left Centre Court.
Murray was under pressure immediately at the start of the third set as a lucky net cord gave Janowicz two break points, but he responded with two aces and the Pole roared in frustration. A taste of his own medicine.
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.
It was Murray’s turn to have the luck of the net as he created a break point in the seventh game, and he took it with a running forehand, letting out a roar that was matched by the crowd.
Suddenly Murray was playing more aggressively and he got his reward with a second straight break of a suddenly rattled Janowicz.
That left the home favourite serving for the set, and he hammered down an ace to clinch it.
The end of the set brought tournament referee Andrew Jarrett onto court, and to Murray’s disbelief he was told the roof would be shut.
The second seed was clearly angry that Janowicz’s complaining had worked and argued there was enough light for another set.
On their return 20 minutes later, Janowicz reacted to the booing crowd with a cheery wave.
The concern for Murray was the still conditions would make the Pole’s big hitting more effective, as had been the case when Lukas Rosol upset Rafael Nadal last year, but it was the Scot who made the breakthrough to lead 2-1.
Janowicz had never played under the roof before while Murray looked completely comfortable and had recomposed himself well.
The row appeared to have given him impetus. Janowicz was facing match point when he double-faulted at 5-3 behind, and a second serve from the 22-year-old was duly fired into the corner by a jubilant Murray.
Three-time Wimbledon champion John McEnroe has backed Murray to win tomorrow.
“I favour him,” the American said on the BBC. “I think the physical aspect of today will have some impact.
“Novak is a truly, truly great player, both of these guys are, but I think the crowd are going to give him [Murray] that extra five, 10 per cent as well.
“When you toss that all into that mixer, it is going to be a fantastic final but at the end of the day I think Murray is ready. He is ready to finally do it.”