Four Men Left In Wimbledon's Semifinal Play Top-seeded Rafael Nadal will face Andy Murray in the semifinals Friday. In the other match, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will face second-seeded Novak Djokovic. USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan talks to Renee Montagne about this weekend's matches at Wimbledon.
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Four Men Left In Wimbledon's Semifinal Play

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Four Men Left In Wimbledon's Semifinal Play

Four Men Left In Wimbledon's Semifinal Play

Four Men Left In Wimbledon's Semifinal Play

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/137545879/137545919" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Top-seeded Rafael Nadal will face Andy Murray in the semifinals Friday. In the other match, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will face second-seeded Novak Djokovic. USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan talks to Renee Montagne about this weekend's matches at Wimbledon.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

Good morning.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Ok. So the men's lineup, it's the usual suspects mostly. But there is one missing suspect, I guess you could say.

BRENNAN: Tsonga, though, is a formidable opponent. He's built like a linebacker. He bears a striking resemblance to Mohammad Ali. And he actually has defeated Djokovic five of the seven times they've played in their careers. It's been said of Tsonga that you've never heard the sound of a tennis ball being hit so hard as when he hits a forehand.

MONTAGNE: Well, you just mentioned Andy Murray, obviously, as part of that lineup. It's been 34 years since a player from the U.K. has won a Wimbledon singles title and 75 since a British man has done it. Can Andy Murray put British fans out of their misery?

BRENNAN: Problem is Murray gets down on himself. He's a dower Scot. He's always chastising himself for something or other on the court. But that will be counterbalanced by the shouts of come on, Andy, reverberating not only through center court but all of the U.K. this afternoon. Can Murray answer the call and rise to the challenge? We're going to find out today.

MONTAGNE: Ok. We'll let's turn to tomorrow's challenges for the women. It would seem to be a match-up between the experienced veteran and the relative newcomer.

BRENNAN: This is the fifth seed Sharapova, someone who has won three Grand Slam finals, versus someone who's never been in this position before. But Sharapova's trying to come back after winning Wimbledon seven years ago. So it's a very compelling story in the women's final.

MONTAGNE: Well, just though, very briefly, also compelling, maybe in a negative way, is there are no Americans that have made it that far. No Williams sisters.

BRENNAN: And you wonder where are the Americans? Well, Sharapova's lived in the United States since she was seven. And two of the other three semifinalists also live in the United States. They may not be born in the U.S., but they end up playing their tennis there.

MONTAGNE: Christine, thanks very much.

BRENNAN: Thank you, Renee.

MONTAGNE: This is NPR News.

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