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Summary

  1. Andy Murray beats David Ferrer 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 6-1
  2. Novak Djokovic thrashes Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-3 6-1
  3. Murray and Djokovic meet in semis on Friday
  4. Serena Williams through to women's last four

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Jurejko

All times stated are UK

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Nadal
AP

So Rafa Nadal is waving goodbye to Roland Garros for another year - and this time he is not taking the men's singles' trophy with him. Either Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Stan Wawrinka or Britain's very own Andy Murray will be leaving the French capital with the Coupe des Mousquetaires tucked under his arm.

On Friday we will find out which two men will be contesting the final. But, before all that, make sure you join us tomorrow when we will discover which two women will advance from the semi-finals. Au revoir!

Recap on Wednesday's action

What do you mean you've missed all of today's fun?! Tsk. If you've just left the office or finally having a breather after running around after the kids, here's a recap of today's talking points from Roland Garros....

Thursday's order of play

Court Philippe Chatrier

Men's doubles semi-final (12:00 BST):

1 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan (USA) v Simone Bolelli (ITA)/Fabio Fognini (ITA) 6

Women's singles semi-final (not before 15:00 BST):

7 Ana Ivanovic (SRB) v Lucie Safarova (CZE) 13

1 Serena Williams (USA) v Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) 23

Mixed doubles final:

Lucie Hradecka (CZE)/Marcin Matkowski (POL) v Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Mike Bryan (USA) 2

Reaction to Djokovic beating Nadal

Djokovic 7-5 6-3 6-1 Nadal

Russell Fuller

BBC tennis correspondent

"It was not a surprise to me. It didn't have the shock when Robin Sodering beat Nadal at the French Open. Nadal was facing a guy who has been unbelievably dominant. It was a terrific performance from Djokovic throughout. I don't think Nadal played badly, but he is not good enough to challenge the likes of Djokovic on clay. This year he is just not up to the mark."

Stats of the day

  • Novak Djokovic beat Rafa Nadal for the first time at Roland Garros after six previous attempts
  • Djokovic is two wins away from becoming the eighth man to complete a career Grand Slam
  • Andy Murray earned his first win on clay against David Ferrer following four defeats
  • Murray is the first Briton - man or woman - to reach three semi-finals at Roland Garros

Murray reaction

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 6-1 Ferrer

Pat Cash

1987 Wimbledon champion

"This is what Andy was hoping to achieve - a semi-final. Obviously he'd like to do better but he has got the minimum he wanted to do here. He's having a great clay court season.

"Of course Djokovic in the semi-final is going to be tough but they have turned out to be very good matches when these two have met. Mentally can he hang with Djokovic? I think the time is right for him to do that, but we'll soon see."

Semi-final order of play?

Men's singles

Interesting dilemma for the Roland Garros organisers. Djokovic v Murray - first against third seed - to close on Court Philippe Chatrier? Or home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is bidding to become the first Frenchman to contest a men's singles' title at Roland Garros since 1988? Tough one.

Semi-final draw

Men's singles

1 Djokovic (SER) v Murray (GBR) 3

14 Tsonga (FRA) v Wawrinka (SWI) 8

Murray reaction

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 6-1 Ferrer

Andy Murray and David Ferrer
Getty Images

Winning quarter-finalist Andy Murray talking on Court Suzanne Lenglen: "I knew it was going to be an extremely tough match. The third set was tough to lose having match point. It's difficult to play another set when you have just lost match point.

"It's going to be an extremely tough match against Novak in the semi-final. I hope I can play high quality tennis. Obviously Novak has played very well today to win in straight sets against Rafa."

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Joseph Burns: Murray's blown Ferrer away here, he's found that extra gear again he had in 2012/13. Semi-final against Djokovic could be a classic.

Ed Startup: Brilliant to watch the improvement in Andy Murray's mental fortitude. He'll still lose matches, but he won't self-destruct.

Murray into semi-finals

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 6-1 Ferrer

Three hours and 18 minutes is how long Andy Murray needed to overcome the plucky David Ferrer. That's an hour longer than it took his semi-final opponent Novak Djokovic to see off Rafa Nadal in his last-eight tie.

The last-four clash between Murray and Djokovic - the only two men not to be beaten on clay in 2015 - takes place on Friday. Tasty...

Game, set and match - Murray

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 6-1 Ferrer

Andy Murray celebrates
Getty Images

All over! Andy Murray advances to the French Open semi-finals.

And the British number one completes a job well done with another hold to love. Ferrer shakes his head as a forehand return hits the tape for 40-0 - he knows the end is nigh. That's three match points for Murray, who spanks down an arcing serve which Ferrer sticks his bat on but can't guide the ball inside the court.

*Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 5-1 Ferrer

Murray winces as he sees a 30-15 advantage evaporate following a long return which fails to hit the white chalk. Oh dear, then it is Ferrer's turn to look away in disgust. Guess what he's done? Only committed another cardinal sin in the shape of a double fault. That is 11 (eleven) for the match. But the Spaniard, one of the current game's great battlers, saves another match point as Murray gets a little rough with a forehand return. Ferrer completes another escape but the great escape - avoiding defeat and making the last four - looks slim. Murray serving for the match...

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 5-0 Ferrer*

Pat Cash

1987 Wimbledon champion

Andy Murray returns a ball
Getty Images

"Murray has regrouped since losing the last set and has played the better of the two players throughout most of the match. If this match had gone to a fifth set then it could have been a different story."

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Michael Churm: Two consecutive cross-court two-handed backhands on the run from Andy Murray, as good as any I've ever seen.

Darren C: I think it's quite clear that Andy Murray has stepped up in class from last year. His clay-court game is on a par with grass.

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 5-0 Ferrer*

Almost time for David Ferrer to pack up his suitcase and head to Charles De Gaulle airport to catch a flight back over the Pyrenees. Murray smells blood and is moving in for the kill. A routine service game means the Briton is just one more away from the French Open semi-final....

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Josh Berry: Murray playing like a man on a mission now. He doesn't want to be out there a second longer than he needs to!

Toby Foot: The angles Murray is finding at the moment are just unreal.

Double break for Murray

*Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 4-0 Ferrer

Another one of those must-win service games for David Ferrer. Not the first I might add. A poorly-executed drop shot from the Spaniard is pounced on by the Briton for 15-15, before the energetic 33-year-old outlasts his opponent in a long rally to take the next point.

But Ferrer slaps a forehand return wide for 30-30, Big chance here for Murray. That big chance becomes an enormous chance as an aggressive Murray pulls out a stunning backhand winner.

The break point goes begging as Ferrer scrambles, only for the Spaniard to miscue another return. This time Murray does take full advantage, luring his opponent into a scooped return from behind the baseline - then smashing in the winner for the double break.

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 3-0 Ferrer*

Andy Murray reacts
AP

The clock ticks over the three-hour mark - but Andy Murray isn't planning to stay out there much longer. The Briton screams his trademark "come onnnnnnnn" as a Ferrer return goes long for 40-30, then hammers down his ninth ace of the match to return to his seat with a 3-0 fourth-set advantage. Handy.

Murray breaks

*Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 2-0 Ferrer

Wow! Sensational stuff from the British number one who uses his speed to dig out a stunning backhand winner from the baseline and claim the first break of the fourth set.

Murray takes a 30-0 lead as he pushes Ferrer into a pair of forehand unforced errors then shrugs his shoulders as the Spaniard somehow returns a near-perfect lob from behind him.

Ferrer double faults though - again - to give Murray two break points and the two-time Slam winner needs just one opportunity.

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 1-0 Ferrer*

Better from Andy Murray. The Briton returns to the Suzanne Lenglen clay with a spring in his step, starting aggressively as he keeps Ferrer pinned to the baseline. He needs an early morale-boosting hold - and that is exactly what he gets.

Reaction

Djokovic beats Nadal

Robin Soderling, the only other man to beat Nadal in the French Open, on Twitter: Unbelievable level from Novak. Big congrats! And what an amazing fighting spirit by Rafa, as always...such a role model for all youngsters.

Reaction

Djokovic 7-5 6-3 6-1 Nadal

Rafael Nadal
Getty Images

No excuses from Rafael Nadal after his comprehensive defeat to Novak Djokovic.

"He was better than me," says the Spaniard after his first Roland Garros defeat since 2009. "That's it. It's very simple. When one opponent is playing better than you and is in better shape than you, that can happen.

"I'm not happy about my first set, obviously. I am happy about my second set. I'm not happy about the third set but I tried."

*Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 Ferrer

Pat Cash

1987 Wimbledon champion

"Andy Murray was in a fantastic position to win in straight sets. But a quality player like David Ferrer, you'd expect him to get one set or two. Murray has lost a set but he has got to get back out there and get into it."

Game and third set - Ferrer

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 Ferrer

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Ferrer deservedly takes this match to a fourth set with a hold to love. The Spaniard, spurred on by the French crowd, screams in undulated pleasure as he keeps his hopes of another Roland Garros semi-final alive.

Andy Murray is frustrated
AP

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-6 Ferrer*

So that break in the last game means David Ferrer takes a couple of balls knowing that he is serving for the third set. The French crowd are loving his revival - they're even busting out the Mexican wave at the change of ends....

Ferrer breaks

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-6 Ferrer*

Murray, brow perspirating in the evening Paris sunshine, loses his way as tiredness appears to kick in. One of my colleagues has just suggested perhaps Murray has just realised he will play his nemesis Novak Djokovic in the last four. He was kidding. I think. But then Murray double faults to hand Ferrer a break point - which he devours like a hungry wolf.

Ferrer saves match point

*Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-5 Ferrer

Is this the moment? Andy Murray is one point away from a semi-final clash against Novak Djokovic as he has advantage - but Ferrer finds another gear to keep this quarter-final alive. Murray, pinned back behind the baseline, spoons the match point wide and then sees Ferrer complete the great escape. On we go...

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-4 Ferrer*

Ferrer has struggled with his service game in this match - particularly when Murray has piled on the pressure. But he digs out his first serve when it matters here. The Spaniard takes a 30-0 lead before a splendid Murray passing winner claws back a point. The Briton then uses the net to his advantage (luck) to level but Ferrer moves forward to end another long rally with a winner. Two more points are exchanged and that means we go to deuce....

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-4 Ferrer*

Oh, this is brilliant. Murray spanks a perfect forehand - following a not too shabby forehand from Ferrer - into the corner of the court, then sees out the next three points with an ace and a pair of Ferrer backhand errors.

Three love service games out of the last four. Blip? What blip? Murray is one game away from the French Open semi-finals....

Andy Murray
Getty Images

*Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 4-4 Ferrer

Can someone call the doctor? David Ferrer has a serious bout of doublefaultitis. The Spaniard fluffs his lines again with his opening serve - that's his ninth double fault of the match - then fails to execute a tempting smash in the next point.

Again Ferrer castigates that pesky clicking cameramen stood behind him. Again it inspires the seventh seed into focus. He wins the next three points and then takes a fourth when Murray's return is a touch too long.

What. A. Hold.

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 4-3 Ferrer*

"Come on!" That familiar Murray shriek is heard once again as he stops the rot with a hold-to-love service game. Very important as this set hangs in the balance.

*Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 3-3 Ferrer

Focus Andy, focus. The Briton bounds towards the net to volley in a winner for 15-15 - something we've not seen a great deal of from Murray. That's only his ninth winner of the match at the net - at a percentage of 56% compared to Ferrer's 81%.

But it is not enough to spur him into another break as Ferrer reasserts control with his serve. That's three successive games for the Spaniard, who hears Rocky Balboa-style chants of "Dav-id, Dav-id" echoing around Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Andy Murray looks frustrated on court
AP

Reaction

Djokovic 7-5 6-3 6-1 Nadal

Novak Djokovic
Getty Images

Novak Djokovic describes his quarter-final win over Rafael Nadal as "an incredible day".

"I have great respect for Rafa, he's a true champion and it's always a pleasure to play him," adds the 28-year-old.

"I knew I had to be aggressive and stay concentrated on every point. That's not easy to do against a man who had only lost once here in his career. It's an incredible day, I am very happy and I want to continue like this."

Pat Cash

1987 Wimbledon champion

"Ferrer just needs to stick with Andy. He needs Murray to lose concentration and we know he does that every now and again."

Ferrer breaks back

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 3-2 Ferrer*

Lifeline for Ferrer as Murray chokes up three break points! Where this has come from I do not know.

The first is pushed wide by the Spaniard's backhand into the tramlines. Next chance. Can he take this one? Yes he can! Murray tries to guide a vicious return back over the tape but it falls short and hits the mesh.

*Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 3-1 Ferrer

Court Suzanne Lenglen is rather quiet at the moment. The Paris crowd have been firmly behind Spain's Ferrer from the first toss, but realise that it is the Briton who is coasting towards the last four.

A brief pause as Ferrer leads 40-30 when the Spaniard - not for the first time - complains about people taking photographs behind him. Then, he produces one for the cameras as he hammers down his first ace of the match to cling on to his serve.

Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 3-0 Ferrer*

Murray is walking down Easy Street now. The third seed produces a first-rate serving game, which includes two booming aces, to rattle off a quick hold to love.

Andy Murray celebrates taking a point
AP

Djokovic 7-5 6-3 6-1 Nadal

Pat Cash

1987 Wimbledon champion

"Djokovic deserved the win. If you look at the stats, this looks an upset - but it's not really. The world number one has beaten the world number six or seven who has not been in form.

"Djokovic is playing the best tennis of his career. He's been close to beating Nadal before, but he's improved and Rafa's got problems in his game. If you look at the score, it's a good old beating. Novak just does not let up."

*Murray 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 2-0 Ferrer

Pat Cash

1987 Wimbledon champion

"That's a good set from Murray, he's slightly more relaxed and he put more into his shots and rallies."

Andy Murray plays a shot
EPA