Murray sets up meeting with defending champ Wawrinka
The Scot recovered from a shaky start to see off the challenge of Richard Gasquet, the last French hope in the draw, in four sets.
Andy Murray capitalized on a trademark Richard Gasquet collapse to reach the last four at the French Open on Wednesday. The Scot was in a spot of bother early on, relying too heavily on his Achilles’ heel – the drop shot – to allow Gasquet, the last Frenchman in the draw, to recover from 2-5 down to take the first set on the back of five straight games.
The second was a more even affair, Murray opening up a 5-3 lead with a break but failing to hold, Gasquet seizing the initiative to force the tiebreak. With both players finding the angles and mixing up their shots, the Parisian crowd might have anticipated a classic at that point, but Murray had other ideas. The second seed took control of the tiebreak and, subsequently, the match as Gasquet’s self-belief evaporated.
Murray required just 30 minutes to claim the third set, breaking Gasquet’s serve three times and with it the Frenchman’s spirit. After more rain than the diluvian days of Noah in Paris over the past week, the crowd were forced to consider another year added to the wait for the sight of a home player lifting the Coupe des Mousquetaires. The ark-builder’s namesake, Yannick, was the last, in 1983.
Gasquet recovered sufficiently to get on the board in the fourth set but Murray had the bit between his teeth and put his opponent, and the crowd, down as swiftly as was humane, claiming victory 5-7, 7-6 (7/3), 6-0, 6-2.
"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," Murray noted after the game. "It was a very tough match, I'm just glad to get through."
Murray will face defending champion Stan Wawrinka for a place in the final after the Swiss made light work of Albert Ramos on Wednesday. Murray leads their career head-to-head 8-7 but has never beaten Wawrinka 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.
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