French Open: Murray overcomes Gasquet, sets semifinal with Wawrinka
Second seed Andy Murray booked a French Open semi-final showdown with defending champion Stan Wawrinka on Wednesday after defeating ninth seed Richard Gasquet 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-0, 6-2.tennis Updated: Jun 01, 2016 23:52 IST
Second seed Andy Murray booked a French Open semi-final showdown 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.
“It was very important for me to win the second set, it would have been very tough for me to come back if I’d have lost it,” said Murray.
“It was a very tough match, I’m just glad to get through.”
The world number two, 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.
“He’s played great tennis here the past couple years. It’s going to be extremely tough, hopefully I can play my best tennis and try and reach my first final here,” added Murray.
The Briton had won the last five meetings with Gasquet but not for the first time at Roland Garros this past fortnight Murray was forced to recover from a poor start.
Having charged to within a game of the opening set Murray proceeded to lose serve twice in a row to hand Gasquet, the last French player left in the tournament, the initiative on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Murray again squandered a break in the second set, dropping serve at 5-3, before atoning for that missed opportunity in the tiebreak to level the match.
The second seed then seized total control by rushing through the third set in half an hour, breaking Gasquet’s serve three times to subdue the home support.
And the Frenchman’s resistance ended once Murray broke in the third game of the fourth set, with the former US Open and Wimbledon champion completing a third win in three attempts over Gasquet in Paris.
Wawrinka, the 31-year-old third seed, became the oldest man since 1985 to reach the semi-finals with a 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (9/7) win over Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Wawrinka is the oldest semi-finalist in Paris since 32-year-old Jimmy Connors in 1985.
He was in complete control against world number 55 Ramos-Vinolas, playing in his first quarter-finals at the majors, firing an impressive 49 winners.
“Overall, I played a good match with an incredible level in the first two sets,” said Wawrinka.
“I had to dig deep to finish the match. To win in three sets, it’s ideal.”
Wawrinka, who beat Djokovic in last year’s final, will be playing in only his second Roland Garros semi-final.
First Published: Jun 01, 2016 22:50 IST