Andy Murray column: 'I won’t be intimidated by 6ft 8in Janowicz’

By Andy MurrayWorld number two
Murray stages stunning comeback

It might take a little longer than normal for my head to clear after that dramatic quarter-final, but the prospect of a Wimbledon semi-final will get me focused again.

Sleep can be hard to come by when you've just won in five sets on Centre Court and that's where the day off at Grand Slams is a big help.

It was close to 11pm when I got home and it might have been hard to recover for a match the next day, but here I'm lucky to have 24 hours to get myself back to neutral, do all the right recovery stuff and hit a few balls to freshen up a bit. I'll be fine for Friday.

The win over Fernando Verdasco might not have been exactly straightforward but I'm really pleased with how I turned it around from two sets down, and the prize is huge.

Making it through to my fifth Wimbledon semi-final in a row is really special, and tough to do with everything that goes on at this tournament for me. I'm glad that over the course of my career I've been able to play some of my best tennis here.

You could say the US Open has been more successful because I won there but, in terms of consistency, Wimbledon has definitely been my best.

Dealing with nerves is a part of the job at this stage of a Slam and you can't dictate when they will hit you.

Sometimes you'll start thinking about the next match a day before and you may get a bit nervous; sometimes you won't worry about it until an hour or so before you step on the court. I don't mind if I'm a little bit nervous the day before, because that means I know I'm going to be pumped the next day.

I'll certainly need to be sharp from the outset against Jerzy Janowicz, as I have to take every chance that comes my way.

There's a lot more to his game than people might think - he's got good touch and plays a lot of drop shots - but at 6ft 8in and with a big serve, it's pretty obvious that I will need to return well.

Janowicz hits Wimbledon's fastest serve of 2013

That's always been one of the strengths of my game. I can remember beating Taylor Dent, who was one of the biggest servers around, when I played on the Tour for the first time at Queen's Club.

I have very short, compact swings on the return and quite a long reach, and they're two key things when you're returning.

If you have big swings, especially on the quicker courts, it's tough to get the timing right. If you're able to keep the swings short then it helps. I also practise blocking returns and just getting them back in play a lot, because in some matches that's really your only option.

I suppose it's a natural ability to some extent but practice is the key. While a lot of guys work on other things, I spend a lot of time on my returns and hopefully that will pay off on Friday.

Janowicz might be a big guy with a big serve, but I won't be intimidated by him.

If anything, it's more likely that a player's endurance ability is something I'd find it hard to compete against. If you know someone can outlast you, it puts a lot more pressure on the beginning of the match. If someone just has a big shot then you can try to find ways to take that away from them. On the physical side, you can't stop someone from being fit.

Murray relief to pass Verdasco test

In terms of Friday, I won't do anything out of the ordinary to prepare for his serve. I practised with a couple of lefties before playing Verdasco, but when I'm playing righties with a big serve I usually just get Dani Vallverdu, who works as part of my coaching team, to stand up the court and serve at me from there.

I'm sure the nerves will start building the night before and during the day, and if I can get the kind of support I had on Wednesday from the moment I step out on Centre Court, it will make a huge difference.

I've talked about the Olympic atmosphere at Wimbledon before, and have just found out I've been nominated in two categories at the ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) awards, one of the biggest sporting awards in the United States. I'm up for Best Tennis Playerexternal-link and Best Moment of 2012,external-link which is pretty cool.

For a British tennis player to be recognised among all the American athletes and sports shows just what an impact the US Open win and the Olympics made, and I'm sure the home crowd at Wimbledon was part of that.

Let's hope we can do something similar over the next few days.

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