PARIS: Second seed Andy Murray booked a French Open semifinal match with defending champion Stan Wawrinka on Wednesday after defeating ninth seed Richard Gasquet 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-0, 6-2.
Frenchman Gasquet reeled off five straight games to recover from 5-2 down and grab the opening set, but Murray won a second set tie-break before claiming 12 of the next 14 games.
The world No 2, through to his fourth semi-final in Paris, will bid to reach the Roland Garros final for the first time against Swiss third seed Wawrinka. He leads their head-to-head 8-7 but Wawrinka has won their last three meetings and both of their matches on clay.
OLDEST TO MAKE SEMIS
Wawrinka became the oldest man since 1985 to reach the French Open semifinals with a 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (9/7) win over Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Jimmy Connors was 32 when he reached the last four in Paris in 1985.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic got just what he wanted as he pursues a first French Open title, wrapping up a rain-interrupted victory with a minimum of trouble to get to the quarterfinals.
Aiming to win a fourth consecutive major trophy and complete a career Grand Slam, the No. 1-seeded Djokovic needed only 71 minutes to finish off a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 win against No. 14 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain. The match was suspended because of rain on Tuesday, with Djokovic leading 4-1 in the third set. He needed only seven minutes of action to claim that set when they resumed, taking the first two games played Wednesday.
After completing the victory, Djokovic played to the crowd at Court Philippe Chatrier, first cajoling a ball boy to join him in bowing for the spectators, then donning a yellow rain hat handed to him by Fabrice Santoro, a former player who conducted the post-match interview.
Because rain created a compressed schedule, Djokovic will be on court for a third day in a row on Thursday against Tomas Berdych, the Czech seventh seed.
In the women’s section, defending champion Serena Williams powered into the quarterfinals, but Timea Bacsinszky dumped out sister Venus as the Swiss continued her love affair with Paris.
Serena reached the last eight at Roland Garros for the 10th time after pulverising 18th seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-1 6-1 in just over an hour on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The world No 1 one continues her pursuit of a record-equalling 22nd Open era Grand Slam title against 60th-ranked Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.
Swiss eighth seed Bacsinszky ended any prospect of Serena facing sister Venus in the semi-finals after dumping out the elder Williams in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. She will meet unseeded Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens next. Bertens reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final after defeating American 15th seed Madison Keys 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.
First Published: Jun 02, 2016 12:02 IST