THE measure of Tomas Berdych’s task yesterday was but one indicator of the scale of Andy Murray’s career achievements.

The 29-year-old Scot moved into his 11th grand slam final with a brilliantly fashioned performance against the Czech, thus overtaking the record he shared with Fred Perry. He also joins Stefan Edberg, John Newcombe and Andy Roddick as a three-time finalist at Wimbledon.

But, most pertinently, Murray has never lost a grand slam semi-final to anyone who has not won a grand slam. Basically, he has been defeated in the last four of the majors by three of the greatest players ever – Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer – and to Roddick who was serving like Popeye on a spinach-rich diet in 2009.

Much has been made of Murray’s inability to convert his previous 10 appearances in finals into regular victory. But he has never lost to anyone who is not Federer or Djokovic and has beaten the Serb twice at Flushing Meadows and Wimbledon.

There will be those, then, who breathe a sigh of relief that Murray plays Milos Raonic, the 25-year-old Canadian, in tomorrow’s final. However, this will be far from a breeze, the only draught of wind will be the considerable one that accompanies a 145mph Raonic serve whistling through the grass.

Murray has beaten Raonic six times on the nine occasions they have met, winning the past five consecutive contests. If this causes the partisan Scot to order in a bottle of bubbly to accompany the deep-fried strawberries tomorrow, there should be a pause for reflection.

Raonic was leading Murray by two sets to one in the Australian Open semi-final in January and also had the Scot on the ropes at Queen’s where he took the first set and broke in the second. Murray needed all his psychological resolve and technical brilliance to wrest both matches from a player who stands tall to the edge of two metres and is growing in professional stature by the minute.

The World No 2 will go into battle tomorrow with confidence. He has extended his winning sequence to 11 on grass, having won Queen’s last month. He is playing with an assurance, shrugging off the threat of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarters, and otherwise striding easily to the final without the loss of a set. Raonic, in contrast, has been taken to four sets once, and five sets twice.

However, any physical depletion caused by these exertions is mitigated by two factors: first the big-hitting Canadian plays points that are short, sometimes brutally so, and, second, his passage to the final yesterday was made at the expense of Federer. He will be inspired by being the first Canadian man to have reached a grand slam final and be encouraged by the way he fought back to defeat Federer, who was aiming for an eighth Wimbledon title. The temptation may be to portray this as a match between the artistry of Murray and the bludgeoning power of the Canadian. But this ignores both the Scot’s propensity to hit the ball with belligerence and Raonic’s improvement in movement and tactics, particularly in the past 18 months.

Raonic is far from a one-dimensional player, though Murray, the best returner in the game, will certainly lay the foundations for victory if he neutralises the world No.7’s serve, or, more realistically, manages a break a set.

This Wimbledon final is such a sumptuous prospect that it does not require any side dishes but Murray-Raonic provides one nevertheless. It comes in the distinctive shape of their distinctive coaches. Their influence has little to do with technical matters, more issues of sporting philosophy. Murray is more assertive when Ivan Lendl is in his corner.

Raonic, too, has become more subtle under McEnroe, if that can be said about a behemoth who serves at 145mph. The American has quietly improved Raonic’s movement, encouraging him to be proactive on grass in almost a throwback to the old days of serve and volley. But he has given the Canadian confidence that he can survive and even prosper in longer rallies.

Murray, then, faces an opponent who has a powerful game, justifiable reasons for confidence and the support of a tennis legend. Murray, frankly, has the same qualities, plus a lengthening record of consistent achievement at the top of the sport. This will be his third grand slam final this year after losing to Djokovic in Melbourne and Paris.

The Wimbledon task is undoubtedly easier in that Murray now faces a lower ranked player and one he has consistently beaten. But it holds substantial peril. The Scot will recognise this. Raonic is no Nadal, Federer or Djokovic but at 6ft 5ins he is a giant of the game in another way and one who is capable of inflicting deadening blows. But Murray will reserve the right to retaliate.

There is danger for Scotland’s greatest sportsman. There is, too, the prospect of making history. Again.

Andy Murray masters Tomas Berdych to raise hopes for perfect finale