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Wimbledon Live-Blog Take 3: Men's Singles Semi-Final Special

by Nick Holloway

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18.44 And that, as they say, is that. Roddick beats Murray 6-4 4-6 7-6 7-6. Still: plenty more in him before he retires, unlike here, where I think the law of diminishing returns set in about four thirty. It only remains to take up the chant: U-S-A, U-S-A...

18.31 Oh dear. Murray's looking tired. 6-6 in the fourth and another tie-break. He needs a frozen lake of Irn Bru flown in by Superman himself if he's gonna claw back this one.

18.20 Umpire Pascal Maria is on the phone. Probably saying goodbye to his wife.

18.13 Hawkeye going a bit funny. The crowd's voices swelled to see what the computer's decision would be and then - bloop, nothing. Clearly Skynet has come online. In the event of nuclear fallout, Centre Court is ordered just to close the roof and play on.

17.58 Whatever it is it's working. They might have to test his urine later for illegal levels of girders.

17.55 Actually whatever Murray has in his water bottle isn't orange enough to be Irn Bru. Not orange at all, in fact. Maybe it's the Irn Bru equivalent of Tab Clear?

17.53 Wow. 9-7 tie break puts Roddick 2 sets to 1 up. Fourth set, a set he has to win, Murray is reaching for his secret weapon: Irn Bru.

17.42 Tiebreaker for the third set... this is too tense. If Trevor McD was still here his waistband would be stratospheric.

17.31 Tony Robinson would make a crap umpire, on the other hand. He'd insist a trench was dug and his chair lowered into it, so he was visible only from the eyes up. Then he'd pretend he was a crocodile.

17.21 Anne Robinson would be a cracking umpire, actually, dishing out put-downs after bad plays. 'Out, you horrible little worm. Advantage No Dick'.

17.15 You won't get that last point unless you tuned into the blog at about 3 o'clock, of course. It's a more convincing interpretation than Murray's, who's maintaining, quite adamantly, that he said 'PASS!' Maybe he thought for a second he was on The Weakest Link.

17.13 An audible 'FUCK!' from Murray. Or was it? The umpire thinks so, he's given him a warning. The commentary team seem to think he said nothing of the sort. Perhaps he was impersonating Greg Rusedski saying 'fought'.

17.09 ScotlAndy punching his racquet in frustration after powering the ball into the net. Brutal stuff.

17.02 The crowd are getting a little confused who they mean when shouting 'Come on Andy!' I suggest Roddick be given 'Andy' out of respect for the guest. Murray takes 'Scotlandy', for obvious reasons.

16.55 Roddick 'trying to do too much with his little short balls', the Beeb report.

16.48 Murray is serving for the second set. And he's got it, 6-3! It's now one set apiece... looks like this is going to stretch well into the evening.

16.35 Speaking of acts of God, Murray could use one to put Roddick off his serve. Maybe a lightning strike, just as he lifts his racket to deliver one of those 130mph numbers. They'd have to rub what was left of him into the baseline.

16.27 Murray wouldn't mind an earthquake, actually. If only to see the earth open and swallow Henman Hill. I'm sure he's a little sore Murray Mount hasn't caught on.

16.18 The corollary of that is people thinking there was an earthquake mid-tennis match. Would be funny seeing the players huddled under the umpire's chair for shelter, though.

16.12 I often wonder if tennis linesmen hang around in earthquake zones shouting 'Fault!' Probably wouldn't go down too well.

16.08 Roddick has just gone 5-4 up in the first set. Bad news for Murray; statistically, players losing their first set have gone on to lose the match. Not even a flurry of 'Flying Scotsman' puns from commentator Andrew Castle might be able to help him now.

16.00 Some gorgeous slo-mo shots of new balls being brought out. It's like an M&S advert.

15.43 Murray's career prize money totals $7,612,322 to date. Not enough to buy Mauritania, but maybe enough to sponsor a coup. He should give Mark Thatcher a ring.

15.39 Struggling to write a poem about Murray. Reckon I can rhyme 'Murray Mania' with 'Mauritania', though. But where do I go from there?

15.36 And we're off! Roddick serves to start.

15.30 Murray bashing is easy, of course. Who wouldn't look miserable when their girlfriend has been seen coming out of No.10? Gordon Brown likes to use his glass eye as an anal bead, I hear.

15.26 Murray and Roddick are emerging onto Centre Court. Murray has his 'game face' on, apparently. Same as all his other faces: miserable.

15.14 If 'Haas Been' doesn't emblazon the back cover of an evening paper somewhere in the UK tonight, I'll eat my tennis visor. Off for a seventh inning stretch before the Murray v Roddick game...

15.13 Federer is one point away from the final. Haas is praying for Wogan, but I fear he's elsewhere. Destroying Tokyo, probably. And Federer wins it!

15.05 Rusedski's accent makes 'fought' sound like 'fuck' every time. Very distracting, especially when he drawls 'Fought really hard'.

15.02 Do photographers get lens envy? They could probably just look through theirs the wrong way round, no? Make everyone else's look smaller.

14.57 Have to thank Matt Prissick for that Patrick Moore comparison. It's true. Moore is the king of the waistband. If it gets any higher pretty soon it'll just be a pair of trousers with a monocle presenting The Sky At Night. Or a pair of trousers with a telescope poking out the fly. He wouldn't look any sillier than the photographers courtside at Wimbledon, mind. HUGE lenses.

14.55 I almost wrote 'What choice does he Haasve?' in that last post, btw. But that would have been a pun too far.

14.50 Two games to two. Haas is fighting back - what choice does he have? McDonald's waistband is almost as high as Patrick Moore's, meanwhile. It's getting ridiculous.

14.43 Third set. Federer looks ready to cream Haas. Trevor McDonald's waistband appears to be getting higher with each play, meanwhile. Must be a way of coping with the tension, like hiding behind a cushion.

14.40 Email just in to Mercy Towers: 'Did McEnroe really say that about a ballgirl? YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!!' Haha, well done. You just made me miss Federer going up 2 sets to love, however.

14.32 Haas should put out an album of chilly Eurobeat called 'Haas Music'.

14.31 Haas has levelled the second set 5-5. Exciting stuff. McEnroe is more interested in a chesty looking ballgirl. 'They're pretty pumped up,' he's saying.

14.23 McDonald punchline, mk 1: Trev only gets through 10 bongs of a night time. Hmm, needs some work.

14.14 Perhaps they fire them out of their arse for a bit of out-of-hours practice for the players. Human ball machines. They can manure the court with any jobbies that fly out between.

14.09 I should add any balls the linesmen absorb aren't consumed but have to be extruded, later. Like a particularly painful bladder stone.

14.05 Federer is one set up after a 7-3 tie break. No sign of Wogan. Trevor McDonald is in the crowd though. Help me finish this dodgy Trevor McDonald joke: What's the difference between Trevor McDonald and a dedicated pothead?

13.52 Basically the plot of Richard Loncraine's 2004 Wimbledon movie should have been the last three posts. Sort of Ghostbusters meets The Blob meets the three Mortal Kombat-style dudes from Big Trouble In Little China. That I would have paid for.

13.49 I understand the amoeboid linesmen can also flow together to provide a rain cover for the court. You can see them willing on the bad weather just so they get the chance. Show offs.

13.44 Both Federer and Haas are playing some brilliant tennis. 5-5 in the first set now. The linesmen are looking unphased by those big serves too. Apparently they can absorb any balls that hit them, much the same way an amoeba engulfs it's food.

13.32 ...out of which will emerge a giant Wogan, dressed as the Stay-Puft marshmallow man. Probably clutching a flaming 9-iron. Wimbledon Park Golf Club's revenge.

13.23 Parkinson AND David Frost in the crowd! Sat next to each other! I'm betting some kind of chat show vortex is going to open up in space-time.

13.16 Good conditions for play today. A lot cooler and quite a bit of cloud. Thought after yesterday's scorcher they'd need ballboys with umbrellas for the ballboys with umbrellas. And ballboys with umbrellas for them, probably, a conga line of parasols around the court. They could all fall down with a lovely domino effect at one point.

13.00 Someone found the right button in the director's booth. Back to business as usual: ie. montage of Federer complete with doomy music. It's like Die Hard with a hairy Swiss fella in the Bruce Willis role. Let's hope he doesn't say 'Now I have a machine gun'. Murray might have flashbacks.

12.55 That makes me sound like a bit of saddo. Two cans and I'm out dead before the second chapter. Well they were snuff movies. It just goes to show what a hardcase I am.

12.47 The live-feed from SW19 seems to be stuck on permanent loop. This is the fourth time I've seen Barry Davies talk about Andy Murray's prospects. It's a bit like falling asleep in front of DVD and having your dreams haunted by the looped menu music. Purgatorial.

12.39 Does anyone know the name of the Beeb pundit that looks like Rory Bremner? Perhap it is Bremner. I hope so... even half-baked political jokes would be better than Henman on commentary duties. Typical Henman anecdote: 'I went out on Henman Hill once. It was 9 o'clock in the morning.' (Silence)

12.33 Just a note to say I will be blogging on today's tennis action from, as I've come to know it affectionately, Wimbly Down. Gives it a sort of Trumpton feel, I think. If only Trumpton narrator Brian Cant was part of the BBC team. He could call the rest of the them into the commentary box in the style of Captain Flack. Altogether now: 'Sue, Sue, McEnroe too, Balding, Barrett, Croft...'