Murray books Wawrinka showdown; Nadal moves into semifinal
- Author: Rosalie Stanley Jun 23, 2017,
Jun 23, 2017, 4:36
Remarkably, Nishikori was unable to recall the match at all when asked about it despite the win being one of the biggest of his career.
Three-time grand slam victor Murray fought back from a set down to beat eighth seed Nishikori of Japan 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-0), 6-1 and seal a semi-final spot at Roland Garros for the fourth successive year.
The world number one struggled with his opponent's explosive baseline hitting on Philippe Chatrier, but slowly warmed to his task in windy conditions as he secured a 2-6 6-1 7-6 (0) 6-1 victory.
Wawrinka has not dropped a set on his way to the semis, and his 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 win on Wednesday over Marin Cilic was every bit as impressive as it sounds. "We don't know what's going to happen on Friday, don't know how either of us are going to play, but with the right attitude, right game plan, right tactics, you can still win matches".
Latvian teenager Jelena Ostapenko claimed a surprise place in the semi-finals after beating 11th seed Caroline Wozniacki 4-6 6-2 6-2. In the victory, Wawrinka won 65 percent of his first serve points and 79 percent of his second serve points.
John McEnroe, working for Eurosport, accused Djokovic of tanking, and the 12-time grand slam champion said: "I obviously always expect a lot from myself, but it's a fact that I'm not playing close to my best, and I know that". Kei played a poor game to [allow me to] break. I have to say I had many opportunities but whenever he had chances, he was very good.
"He's played fantastic this tournament so far", Murray said of the 32-year-old, the oldest Roland Garros semi-finalist since Jimmy Connors in 1985. I think we were both very tense.
Svitolina, who leads the tour this year with 31 wins and four titles, is bidding to become the first Ukrainian woman to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament. Not easy. Long matches. "It was windy, so the timing was hard, but once I was able to get into a rhythm and keep him away from the baseline, that made the difference", said Murray.
Thiem had never beaten Djokovic in five previous matches, but the 23-year-old's game turned into a juggernaut as he dominated to deny the Serb a ninth Paris semifinal.
Nishikori is the current world No. 9 in men's singles tennis.
"I'm a little bit sore".
Former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic has backed the Briton to beat Nishikori.