The world number one avoided the fate of Novak Djokovic – the man who beat Murray in the final at Roland Garros a year ago – who was accused of “tanking” in his defeat to Austria’s Dominic Thiem earlier in the day, and the Scot will now face Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka in the last four.
Murray will next play eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori, who recovered to beat Fernando Verdasco 0-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.
Should Murray improve on his 8-2 win record over Japan’s Kei Nishikori in their scheduled quarter-final on Wednesday (7 June), only 2015 champion Stanislas Wawrinka or 2014 US Open victor Marin Cilic will stand between him and a place in the final.
For all of the tumult in the French Open women’s draw and the unfamiliar names filling the quarterfinal slots, the men’s tournament has been much more about the usual suspects: Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka and, of course, Rafael Nadal.
“It’s never fun to lose a match, but I took a great experience from this match to play on the center court”, he said. I also think when he played the French Open final here with Novak Djokovic, he played extremely well.
The Swiss third seed broke the big-serving Cilic six times, spraying the court with winners throughout the match to ruthlessly sweep the seventh seed aside.
Wawrinka awaits in the last four.
“But the fact that Thiem took that set and started to be a little bit more [confident] and going a little bit more for his shot, he killed the match”.
“I mean, always, you know, when we play, it’s always a battle”. I also think I’m playing better than previous year.
Wawrinka has yet to drop a set in this year’s tournament at Roland Garros and he hopes that stands him in good stead against the world number one.
Each match I feel like I’ve played better.
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“It was flawless today, I’m very satisfied”, said Wawrinka who will be playing in his third successive Roland Garros semi-final.
Nishikori won a dramatic five-setter 1-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 to reach the semifinals at Flushing Meadows.
- Fifth seed Elina Svitolina came back from 2-5 down in the third set to claim a 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory over Croatian qualifier Petra Martic. “Andy knows what he has to do”, Ivanisevic said.
World No. 1 Murray, the runner-up in Paris to Novak Djokovic in 2016, brushed aside Karen Khachanov of Russian Federation 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.