Sport

Wawrinka oldest French Open semi-finalist in 32 years

Andy Murray shrugged of a sluggish start, staging a comeback on Thursday for a 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-0), 6-1 defeat of Kei Nishikori and a place in his fourth straight French Open semifinal.

Wawrinka has not dropped a set on his way to the semis, and his 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 win on Wednesday over Marin Cilic was every bit as impressive as it sounds.

It is a repeat of last year's semi-final, which Murray won in four sets before going on to lose in the final.

"I'll need to take it to him and hopefully play some good tennis to win that one".

"I couldn't do anything in the first set but I tried to play deeper and more aggressive, and little by little I got better today".

Rafael Nadal meets Dominic Thiem, conqueror of defending champion Novak Djokovic, in the other clash.

Andy Murray said that his grievance over a freaky time violation was the "critical point" in his French Open quarterfinal win over Kei Nishikori.

"I think he was better than I was in the end", said Monfils.

"I think he's been pointing towards the French for quite a while and he's acting like the player that we look at and go 'that guy's ranked number one in the world right now'". I don't know how I got the second and third. "Paris has had its problems too in recent years", Murray said. Kei played a poor game to [allow me to] break. "But he has found himself, he has found himself in the right moment - when you're the top seed, last year's finalist and you want to win", Ivanisevic said.

The story of the day was the unusual demise of Djokovic, who appeared to give up in the third set of his 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 6-0 defeat by Thiem. I think Andy's probably a bit less confident [than last year], a bit more hesitant.

While three of the winners in women's fourth-round action Monday - No. 2 Karolina Pliskova, No. 3 Simona Halep and No. 5 Elina Svitolina - are highly seeded, none of the eight players left in that field has ever won a Grand Slam tournament.

Swiss third seed Wawrinka, the 2015 title victor, has not lost a set on his way to a third successive semi-final in Paris. The pair met at the same stage a year ago, with the Briton victorious.

"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. Murray has matches on clay court.



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