Saturday , May 18 2024

French Open: Andy Murray faces Stan Wawrinka in Roland Garros semi-final

Britain’s world No 2 Andy Murray will meet defending champion Stan Wawrinka on a day of four French Open semi-finals.

After a week of rain delays, interruptions and suspensions the forecast is for a cloudy, breezy day in Paris so there is every expectation that both the men’s and women’s semi-finals will be played.

The 24-year-old from the Netherlands, who is ranked 58th in the world, also beat in-form world number nine Timea Bacsinszky in the quarter-final and will be aiming to stop Williams’ quest for an open-era record-tying 22nd Grand Slam title.

Murray will resume his title bid after the women’s encounter and he has it all to do against Wawrinka who is on a 12-match winning streak at Roland Garros after last year’s success, which includes an impressive four-set win over Novak Djokovic in the final.

Route to the Semi-Final

Andy Murray Stan Wawrinka
Radek Stepanek R1 Lukas Rosol
Mathias Bourgue R2 Taro Daniel
Ivo Karlovic (27) R3 Jeremy Chardy (30)
John Isner (15) R4 Viktor Troicki (22)
Richard Gasquet (9) QF Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Both men are targeting a third career Grand Slam title – Wawrinka has claimed both of his in the time since Murray won his last at Wimbledon in 2013, the 31-year-old added last year’s French Open crown to his 2014 Australian Open success.

Murray is in his 19th career Slam semi-final, taking him level with Stefan Edberg and John McEnroe, and is hoping to add to the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon title but as well as an in-form opponent he is battling a less than impressive head-to-head record against the Swiss.

While the British number one leads the overall head-to-head 8-7, it’s Wawrinka who has won the last three meetings including their last encounter, a straight sets win in the group stage of the World Tour Finals in London last year.

Wawrinka has also won both their previous clay-court meetings while they have met in majors on four previous occasions, both men have won two each but it is the Swiss who has won the two most recent, both in the US Open in 2013 and 2010.

Interestingly, it is only the second time they have met in the last four of an event, the only previous meeting was a final in Doha in 2008 which Murray won in three sets.

Wawrinka has had an easier route to the final, coming through his last four matches without dropping a set after a five-setter in his opening round against Lukas Rosol.

Murray was two points away from a first round defeat to Radek Stepanek but eventually came though in five sets. He also required all five to beat Mathias Bourge before straight sets wins against big-serving pair Ivo Karlovic and John Isner.

It looked like being another long afternoon for the Scot against Richard Gasquet when he lost the first set but he came through impressively in four sets and, after a win against Djokovic in the final on clay in Rome, is in as good a form as he has ever been on the red dirt.

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