Andy Murray consigned one of Wimbledon's long-standing statistics to the scrapheap when he became the first Briton to reach the All England Club men's final in 74 years with a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 win over Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Since Bunny Austin was the last home hope to reach the showpiece match in 1938, there have been 11 occasions when a British man had lost in the semi-finals.
Murray, who is Scottish, kept his wits about him, including in the third set when Tsonga's game suddenly caught fire, to end that sorry sequence and the Frenchman's resistance in two hours 47 minutes.
The fourth seed will bid to become the first British man to triumph at the citadel of grasscourt tennis since Englishman Fred Perry in 1936 when he takes on Roger Federer, who will be chasing a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title, in the final on Sunday.
Murray has played in three major finals, losing in straight sets each time. Two of the matches, the 2008 U.S. Open final and the 2010 Australian Open final, were against Federer.
Vintage display by Federer
Earlier, six-time champion Federer produced a vintage display to beat defending champion and world number one Novak Djokovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the other semi-final.
The Swiss on Friday maintained his record of never losing a Wimbledon semi-final to reach a record eighth showpiece match at the All England Club with a dominant performance on Centre Court.
"I'm ecstatic. I played a great match today. Novak played great in the first two sets too, but the third set was key," said Federer.
In the pair's 27th meeting but first on grass, Federer booked his place in his twenty-fourth Grand Slam final where he will face either Andy Murray or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
"I stepped it up then. He had a break points in the ninth game of the third set. It was a tough match", said Federer.
If the 30-year-old Federer is triumphant on Sunday, he will tie Pete Sampras' record of seven Wimbledon wins, allow him to reclaim the world number one ranking and clinch a 17th career Grand Slam crown.
Djokovic, who was bidding to reach a fifth successive Grand Slam final, had defeated Federer six times in their last seven meetings.
After the first two sets were shared in less than an hour, the match came alive in the third set.
Serving at 4-5 Djokovic blazed a smash long at 15-30 to give Federer two set points. Djokovic saved the first with a forehand but Federer seized his chance, winning a sensational 20-stroke rally with a smash to move within a set of the final.
Djokovic could not recover and dropped serve early in the fourth set as Federer rolled to his first final at the grasscourt slam since he beat Andy Roddick in 2009.
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|William A. Cook|