THE GAME OF HIS LIFE

Murray knows he’ll have to go through the pain barrier to beat Nadal and reach the final

BRITISH No1 Andy Murray is confident he can produce the performance of a lifetime to dethrone world No1 Rafael Nadal and end a 73-year wait for a home Wimbledon finalist.

Nadal, who has beaten the Scot on their two previous SW19 clashes without having dropped a set, represents a formidable opponent even accounting for the foot injury which has hampered him since his fourth round win over Juan Martin del Potro.

But Murray is confident he can upset the odds and move one step closer clinching the grand slam title which would rubber-stamp his place amongst the sport’s elite.

“I know I’ll have to run and run, I know it will be physically and mentally tough, but I also know I can win when I play him,” said Murray.

“It’s another chance for me to take him on in a Wimbledon semi-final and I go into it knowing that I’ve learned something from all 15 matches we’ve played – last year’s defeat as well as the times I’ve won.

“What is for certain in any match against Rafa is that both tactically and mentally you have to be ready for some long rallies, lots of punishment, and you mustn’t panic.”

Nadal has broken a whole host of records, particularly on clay, on his way to collecting 10 grand slam titles and Murray hopes he’ll be able to look back on his career having made a significant mark on history.

He said: “When I’m on the court I’m not thinking about my place in history but when I look back on my career, I’ll want to see where I was in the grand scheme of things.

“If I can get past Rafa it will give me more than enough belief that I can go on and win the tournament. I’ve beaten him before but I’ll need to play great tennis to do it again.”

ANDY MURRAY | WIMBLEDON 2011

Aces: 61
First serve in %: 60.2
% 1st serve points won: 83.4
% 2nd serve points won: 55.8
Winners: 203

RAFAEL NADAL | WIMBLEDON 2011

Aces: 38
First serve in %: 69.8
% 1st serve points won: 78.8
% 2nd serve points won: 60.4
Winners: 207