Andy Murray Wimbledon column: This is what you live for

WIMBLEDON

  • Venue: All England Club, London
  • Date: 25 June - 8 July

Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC HD Channel, red button, BBC Radio 5 live, mobiles, tablet and the BBC Sport website

Being in the semi-finals of my home Grand Slam for a fourth straight year, the prospect of finally going that one step further is a massive source of motivation.

I came through a very tough match against David Ferrer in the last eight, but I'll find a way to recover and be in the best possible shape to face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday. After all, we're talking about the semi-finals of the biggest tournament in the world.

Moments like these are what you live for as a professional sportsman and while the pressure and expectation are now huge, I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm incredibly excited.

It was an honour to play in front of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Andre Agassi, Steffi Graff and Rod Laver. I think I spotted Jeremy Piven, who plays Ari Gold in one of my favourite programmes, Entourage, and you may also have noticed Johnny Nelson sat with my team in the stands.

Path to the last four

Murray Tsonga

bt Nikolay Davydenko (Rus) 6-1 6-1 6-4

Round 1

bt Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) 6-3 6-4 6-4

bt Ivo Karlovic (Cro) 7-5 6-7 6-2 7-6

Round 2

bt Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (Spa) 6-7 6-4 6-1 6-3

bt Marcos Baghdatis (Cyp) 7-5 3-6 7-5 6-1

Round 3

bt Lukas Lacko (Svk) 6-4 6-3 6-3

bt Marin Cilic (Cro) 7-5 6-2 6-3

Round 4

bt Mardy Fish (US) 4-6 7-6 6-4 6-4

bt David Ferrer (Spa) 6-7 7-6 6-4 7-6

Quarter-final

bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (Ger) 7-6 4-6 7-6 6-2

Johnny is a former cruiserweight world champion and I followed his boxing career with interest. When I was playing at the Italian Open in Rome, he came over to interview me and I told him to get in touch if he wanted to see any matches at Wimbledon or Queen's.

He was meant to come to my first round match against Nikolay Davydenko, but snapped his patella tendon in sparring the day before and needed surgery. He hobbled down on crutches for the Ferrer match.

I like talking to other athletes, especially individual athletes, because the mindset is similar to that of a tennis player. I know a few boxers and I've spoken to them at length.

It's a bit different because they prepare for three months to fight one opponent, watching videos of the guy and training specifically for that bout. They also have an idea of how long their fight might take - 48, 50 minutes - whereas tennis matches can last five hours.

But there are things you can take from that sport. Above all else, they leave no stone unturned in their preparation. You can't necessarily do it to the same extent in tennis, but I try.

Boxers put themselves in danger if they're not focused. I've watched them train and seen how hard they work. They're amazing athletes and so strong mentally.

From what I've heard, a lot of them are very fearful in the locker room; they think about losing and get scared. Mike Tyson has said he often walked to the ring petrified he might lose, but as soon as he stepped in there he thought nobody could beat him, he felt invincible.

Those are the sort of things I try to draw from a little, and hopefully that helps me against Tsonga because it will be a tense battle - it always is against him.

Did you know?

  • It is 74 years since Britain had a men's finalist at Wimbledon. Bunny Austin was the last in 1938
  • David Ferrer is the joint-highest ranked player (fifth) Murray has ever beaten at Wimbledon along with Andy Roddick in 2006

I may lead him 5-1 in the head-to-head, but we've had many tight matches and it's not going to be easy. It will be decided by a few points in each set and I need to make sure I'm the one who plays them better.

As soon as the Ferrer match was over, my attention switched to Tsonga. It was another late finish so I drove home and went straight to bed before coming in for practise at 11am.

I'll spend quite a long time with my physio and then take the dogs for a walk in the afternoon. I've done that on each of my days off and this is no time to be stopping.

In the absence of live football, I've turned to movies as a way of relaxing. On Tuesday it was Collateral  and I'll pick another for tonight or maybe watch Mock The Week.  It's a funny programme and normally around this time of year they use a few jokes about me. Fortunately there weren't any on Tuesday, but I might not be so lucky today!

There's obviously a lot going on but I try to get into my own bubble and focus. It can be quite emotional and I've perhaps not been as nice to the people around me as normal. I've probably been a bit short, a bit selfish, forgetting to say "please" or "thank you".

That can happen to anyone in this situation and it has certainly been a tough few weeks. But it has also been a lot of fun. If I can manage two more wins, it will all feel worthwhile.