French Open: Andy Murray fights back to beat Richard Gasquet

Andy Murray
Murray is through to his fourth semi-final at Roland Garros
French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 22 May to 5 June
Coverage: Live radio and text commentary on selected matches on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, the BBC Sport website and app.

Andy Murray eventually found his form to get the better of home favourite Richard Gasquet and reach the semi-finals of the French Open.

Murray lost the first set from 5-2 up and let a similar lead slip in the second before taking the tie-break, and going on to win 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 6-2.

The Scot, seeded second, will face holder Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland in the last four on Friday.

Third seed Wawrinka beat Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-2 6-1 7-6 (9-7).

Murray has now won his last 10 matches, having won the Italian Open last month, and is through to his fourth French Open and 19th Grand Slam semi-final.

In the other half of the draw, rain delays mean the quarter-finals between Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych, and David Goffin and Dominic Thiem, will be played on Thursday.

Gasquet lets chance slip in tie-break

Murray had won all four previous Grand Slam meetings with Gasquet but gave the Frenchman every opportunity to improve on that record.

Richard Gasquet
Gasquet was playing his first French Open quarter-final

The Briton earned a 5-2 lead before his early success with drop shots disappeared, and double faults at key times helped Gasquet run through five straight games.

A similar pattern followed in the second set, as Murray again failed to serve out from 5-2 and fell 3-1 down in the tie-break, but he gathered himself to finally take control with six straight points.

The Parisian crowd had been hoping their man could emulate Yannick Noah's title-winning run of 1983, but Gasquet's challenge faded dramatically in the third set.

After the first two sets took well over two hours, Murray raced through the third in 27 minutes, and a sharp forehand volley gave him the decisive breakthrough early in the fourth.

"Stop it!" shouted Murray after his fourth double fault of the afternoon but it did not signal another collapse, and the world number two reeled off 13 of the last 15 games to win in three hours and 23 minutes.

'I was playing some good stuff'

The poor weather in Paris meant Murray was playing for the first time since beating John Isner on Sunday, and he felt that was behind his inconsistent form in the early stages.

"It wasn't easy for me today," said the Scot. "I played two guys where you get zero rhythm, against [Ivo] Karlovic and Isner.

"Then a two-day break where you're barely hitting any balls because of the conditions. It was 30, 40 minutes of hitting.

"Then coming out and playing a completely different match today, I thought I did well for the most part in a tough atmosphere, too. It's not bad. I was playing some good stuff. I finished the match extremely well, I think."

Analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

Andy Murray shakes hands with Richard Gasquet
Murray has now won eight of his 11 matches against Gasquet

"It is unusual to see Murray concede a 5-2 advantage once, let alone twice, but Gasquet deserves huge credit for the way he played in the opening two sets. The drop shot had been Murray's trump card in the early exchanges, but Gasquet started to read it, and given the physical nature of the match, a two-set deficit would have been very hard to retrieve.

"With Gasquet visibly tiring in the third set, Murray dragged him from one side of the court to the other as he soon assumed complete control.

"Murray has now played 20 sets in 5 rounds, but both he and Wawrinka have the benefit of a day off which won't be afforded to the quarter-finalists in the other half of the draw."

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