Andy Murray is through to his third consecutive French Open semi-final after another topsy-turvy afternoon against Richard Gasquet on Wednesday (1 June). The world No2, who beat Radek Stepanek, Mathias Bourge, Ivo Karlovic and John Isner to advance to the last eight, held a commanding 4-2 lead over his French opponent in the first set before losing five straight games.
He then engineered a 5-2 advantage in the second, but again lost focus and only levelled the scores by virtue of a 7-3 tiebreak. The 29-year-old later showed his ruthless streak by taking the third set to love and remained in the ascendancy to secure an often unconvincing 5-7, 7-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory.
"There was some great tennis," Murray was quoted as saying by BBC Sport in his post-match interview. "There were some fun points to watch – drop shots and plenty of variety. We both had our chances and it was important to win the second (set). It would have been tough to come back."
Murray previously beat both big-serving Karlovic and Isner in straight sets, but made hard work of veteran Czech qualifier Stepanek in round one after recovering from a 2-0 deficit to snatch victory in five. He was also taken the distance by 164-ranked Bourge, a player who was competing in his first ever Grand Slam.
The former US Open and Wimbledon winner's reward for outlasting Gasquet is a meeting with Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka. The defending champion won his second major trophy at Roland Garros last year by defeating Novak Djokovic and remains in contention to retain that title after beating Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-2, 6-1, 7-6.
Due to inclement weather conditions in Paris that has caused most matches to be delayed this week and led to no play at all for the first time in 16 years on Monday (30 May), Djokovic only completed his fourth-round win over Roberto Bautista Agut earlier on Wednesday. He plays his quarter-final in Thursday's first match against Tomas Berdych and faces three matches in three days should he progress to the semi-finals. If he beats Berdych Djokovic will face the winner of David Goffin and Dominic Thiem.