French Open 2017: Andy Murray beats Kei Nishikori in quarter-finals

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Roland Garros
Andy Murray beats Kei Nishikori
Murray is only the eighth man to reach a fifth Roland Garros semi-final in the Open Era
French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 28 May- 11 June
Coverage: Listen to live radio commentary and follow text coverage of selected matches on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online.

Britain's Andy Murray reached his fourth consecutive French Open semi-final with a four-set win over Kei Nishikori in Paris.

The world number one came through 2-6 6-1 7-6 (7-0) 6-1 against the Japanese eighth seed at Roland Garros.

The 30-year-old goes on to face Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka, who beat Marin Cilic 6-3 6-3 6-1.

It is a repeat of last year's semi-final, which Murray won in four sets before going on to lose in the final.

"Stan has played fantastic this tournament so far," said the Scot, who was beaten by Novak Djokovic in last year's showpiece.

"Last year when we met he was playing very well and I had to play one of my best matches on clay to beat him.

"It's not always been easy for me here but the last few years have been great."

Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal will take on Dominic Thiem in the second semi-final, after the Austrian knocked out defending champion Djokovic.

Nishikori fades after fast start

After impressive wins in the previous two rounds, Murray claimed another fine result, albeit in less clinical fashion.

The pair shared 12 breaks of serve on another blustery Paris day, with Nishikori starting superbly but fading as Murray reeled him in.

Nishikori, 27, broke serve twice to take the first set as his groundstrokes had Murray constantly on the defensive.

Murray's mood was not improved by an early time violation from umpire Carlos Ramos, but it took another in the second set to fire up the top seed.

The Briton remonstrated with the official before returning to the action, fired by injustice, roaring "Let's go!" as he clinched the game.

The first streak of Nishikori brilliance was over and the Japanese player double-faulted to drop serve at 3-1, and then woefully misjudged leaving a ball that landed well inside the baseline to fall 5-1 down.

Nishikori twice fell a break behind with poor service games in the third set only to hit straight back each time, infuriating Murray, who served for the set at 6-5.

It might have been expected to shift the momentum in Nishikori's favour, but he played a desperate tie-break and Murray reeled off all seven points.

A brilliant piece of trademark Murray scrambling helped secure the decisive break midway through the fourth set and Nishikori's challenge was as good as over.

"Come on!" screamed Murray as he broke again for a 5-1 lead before closing out the match with one of his easier service games of the afternoon.

Murray 'fired up' by time violation

The momentum of the match switched sharply after umpire Carlos Ramos penalised Murray the loss of a serve for a time violation.

Murray later said any delay was down to him missing a ball toss.

"Obviously for a couple of points after that I was fired up, because I was frustrated at that moment," he said.

"It felt to me like it was a strange decision. I have never seen anyone get a warning after they have missed the ball toss. I have never seen that.

"So I was frustrated about it, but I don't know how much impact that had."

Wawrinka cruises through to the last four

Stan Wawrinka beats Kei Nishikori
Wawrinka reached his third successive semi-final at Roland Garros

Swiss third seed Wawrinka set up another Paris semi-final with Murray after breezing past seventh seed Cilic in the last eight.

The three-time Grand Slam champion, 32, cruised to a 6-3 6-3 6-1 win against the Croatian in an hour and 40 minutes.

Wawrinka, who won the Roland Garros title in 2015, has still not dropped a set in Paris this year.

He is the oldest man to make the last four since Jimmy Connors in 1985.

"It was perfect today, I'm very satisfied," Wawrinka said after his 12th win in 14 meetings with Cilic.

'Murray's display will not give Wawrinka sleepless nights' - analysis

Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent

In terms of performance, this was a backward step, but Murray still managed to beat the eighth seed with relative comfort to reach yet another Grand Slam semi-final.

Murray was far from his best but, after an excellent first set, Nishikori was very poor. His contribution to the all-important third set tie-break was to make three forehand unforced errors, three backhand unforced errors and serve a double fault.

Murray's display will not give Wawrinka any sleepless nights, but he will remember how outstandingly well the world number one played to beat him in four sets in last year's semi-final.

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