'Finally!' cries British press
London - Britain's newspapers breathed a sigh of relief Saturday and hailed Andy Murray becoming the first homegrown player to reach the Wimbledon men's tennis final in 74 years.
Pictures of Murray celebrating his semi-final win over France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga adorned the front pages of all Britain's major national newspapers - including the Financial Times.
"And finally", said the front page of The Times, which called the Scot "Magnificent Murray", and said his achievement after so long was "immense".
"Even to make the Wimbledon final, in an era graced by some of the greatest players ever, is a feat worthy of congratulation," its editorial said.
"There remains the small matter of actually beating perhaps the world's greatest ever player, Roger Federer, whose own superb effort in reaching a record eighth final should not be forgotten either.
"But good luck on Sunday, Andy. One huge obstacle cleared. Just one even bigger one still to go."
"Now can he finish the job?" asked the Daily Mail.
"Oh, the ecstasy. Andy Murray has done it. Finally. At last."
The Daily Telegraph said Murray had to overcome both Federer "and the burden of expectation".
Murray has broken "one of the oldest curses in sport", the broadsheet said.
"The man from Dunblane is unarguably the best player these islands have produced for many a long year - and if he does triumph, his status as a national icon will be more than assured."
While Federer is looking to match Pete Sampras's record of seven Wimbledon titles, Britain craves just the one.
"A nation will be praying that Andy Murray can deliver it."
The Guardian said Murray was "one step from heaven" following his last four victory, sealed with a disputed line call.
"When the ending came it was as farcical as it was cathartic. But once Hawk-Eye had confirmed that Andy Murray had bucked 74 years of history, the Centre Court crowd roared their acclaim," the daily said.
"At times during the fourth set of this semi-final, it had been very different as the ghosts of past British failures at this stage began to stalk their thoughts as they murmured and muttered beneath darkening skies. But Murray held his nerve better than those watching."
The Sun wished Murray good luck in the final, and urged him to enjoy himself if he did following the tears of his semi-final victory.
"In this diamond jubilee year, a British triumph would be perfect.
"And remember: if you do win, smile!"