The Dell Boys
The Dell Boys

Murray, Wawrinka to meet 2nd time in French Open semis

World number one Andy Murray beats Kei Nishikori in four sets to reach the French Open semi-finals. But five wins here have put Murray one more away from a second straight appearance in a French Open final.

Wawrinka, who crushed Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in yesterday's quarter-finals, is a late developer.

It's a repeat of last year's semifinal which Murray won in four sets before going on to lose to Novak Djokovic in the final.

Murray, who was the runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros past year, will meet 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka for a spot in Sunday's final.

"Today was a ideal match for me, I thought I played very well from the beginning", Wawrinka told a news conference.

Pliskova reached the U.S. Open final a year ago, but the Czech player had never been past the second round at Roland Garros in five previous appearances.

At the bottom of the draw, Dominic Thiem dismissed defending Open champion Novak Djokovic, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 6-0, to set up a semi with heavy title tip Rafael Nadal. The 23-year-old Austrian beat Nadal last month in Rome in the Spaniard's only loss on clay this season. "I have to dictate as many points as I can", Murray said.

"Trying to win tournaments I've never won before is a huge motivation, but I'm not trying to compete with Stan Wawrinka in terms of the numbers", Murray wrote in his BBC Sport column.

"He's obviously played extremely well the last few years at the French, and he's confident".

"I played well, was very solid and took my opportunities". And also, the fact I have a solid track record, winning tournaments, Grand Slam tournaments, and that really helps.' You are the oldest semifinalist since Jimmy Connors back in 1985.

Serving at 1-1, deuce in the second set Murray was bizarrely given a time violation warning by umpire Carlos Ramos after he had let an errant ball toss land - prompting an exchange of views between the pair. "It was windy, so the timing was hard, but once I was able to get into a rhythm and keep him away from the baseline, that made the difference", said Murray.

In windy conditions Murray double-faulted to lose serve in the third game and Nishikori pinged a forehand victor past him to move 5-2 ahead before serving out the set. "It felt to me like it was a unusual decision", he said.

"Personally I think it was down to the conditions". "It was not a good first set, I struggled at the start of the second".

"When we changed ends at 1-0 he told me, "You're playing too slowly".

"I didn't feel like today I was playing slower than I was in the other matches".

The body language of Nishikori, who has never reached the last four of the French, hardly looked promising after that and Murray marched on to his 21st grand slam semi-final.


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