Wimbledon 2012 Semifinals: Andy Murray vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Shane Lambert@uncoolnegatedAnalyst IIJuly 5, 2012

Andy Murray
Andy MurrayClive Rose/Getty Images

The Wimbledon semifinals are scheduled to take place on Friday from the All-England Club. In one matchup Andy Murray will meet Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the right to play in the Wimbledon final.

Both players have made the semifinals at the All-England Club before. For Murray this will be his fourth appearance in that round while for Tsonga, it will be his second appearance.

Murray has seen his quest at Wimbledon end in the semifinals before. But in those matches, he was stopped by either Rafael Nadal or Andy Roddick. With those two players holding such distinguished grass court credentials, Murray has to be relishing the opportunity to make the 2012 final at the All-England Club through a less-accomplished player in Tsonga.

However, that does not mean that Murray is considered a large favorite in the semifinal match. Paddy Power (an Irish bookmaker), make the Scot just a moderate favorite priced at -225 (4/9). Tsonga, the underdog, comes in at +200 (2/1) with Bet365.

The two players have met on six different occasions. However, tomorrow's semifinal will be their biggest matchup.

Murray leads on head-to-heads 5-1, and he has defeated Tsonga in four straight matches. They have twice met on grass with Murray winning on both occasions including at Wimbledon in 2010.

Tsonga's lone victory against Murray came in the first round of the 2008 Australian Open, incidentally, the tournament where the Frenchman had his best slam result (runner-up - l. to Djokovic).

While both players have won Grand Slam semifinal matches before, Murray has done it more often. That fact combined with the convincing head-to-head record against Tsonga suggests that the Scot should, in fact, make the final at Wimbledon.

Tsonga certainly is capable of putting a match together that could silence what promises to be a partisan British crowd. But the one time he beat Murray, the Scot may have been a little off-guard. At that time, Tsonga was largely unheralded and ranked just 38th in the world. Additionally, Murray himself was still improving.

Full credit should go to the Frenchman for taking full advantage of the draw that fell into his lap when Rafael Nadal went out in the second round. However, I think Murray is a heavier favorite than what the odds mentioned above imply. In terms of true odds, I would make Murray a -375 favorite.