Andy Murray will on Friday attempt to become the first British man in 77 years to reach the French Open final but eight-time champion Rafael Nadal is standing in his way.
Bunny Austin was the last Briton to get to the men’s championship match in 1937 while Fred Perry was the country’s last winner in Paris two years earlier.
But Murray is making a habit out of shredding the history books -- his Wimbledon triumph last year ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s title winner.
The 27-year-old lost to Nadal at the same stage in Paris in 2011 without winning a set.
In fact, Murray, who has 5-14 career record against Nadal, has lost all of his five meetings on clay with the Spaniard.
Nadal, in turn, has eight titles in Paris, has won 64 matches against just one defeat and is attempting to become the first man to win five Roland Garros crowns in succession.
Despite the facts and figures stacking up against him, Murray believes he has the mental and physical weapons to shatter the Nadal legend.
Unlike his loss in 2011, Murray is now a two-time Grand Slam title winner himself and his confidence is buoyed by having taken a set off Nadal in Rome last month.
“I obviously know how to win these tournaments now; back then I didn’t. I was trying extremely hard, but I had never done it,” said Murray who has has yet to win a claycourt title and has never made the final on the sport’s most challenging and wearying surface.
But he believes that there are cracks, albeit small ones, in the famed Nadal armour that can be exploited and he saw enough in Rome to justify his confidence, although he knows conditions are different here.