Murray ready to rock into first Roland Garros final

Andy Murray hopes his passion for breaking new ground can drive him to a first French Open final.
Murray ready to rock into first Roland Garros final

The Scotsman has never stepped out on Court Philippe Chatrier for the trophy match. Today he makes his fourth appearance in the semi-finals but Rafael Nadal, twice, and Novak Djokovic over five sets last year prevented him going further in previous attempts.

Murray has reached nine grand slam finals; five at the Australian Open and two each at Wimbledon and the US Open. He said: “This stage of my career, to do things that I have never done before is nice.

“That’s one of the things that motivates me and drives me. That’s why my results on clay over the last couple of years have been really special to me because I never expected that really. So if I was able to make the final here it would be big for me. But I’m here to try and win the tournament, not make the final. That’s my goal for the next few days.”

The man standing in his way is defending champion Stan Wawrinka, who won his 12th match in a row at Roland Garros with a straight-sets victory over Albert Ramos- Vinolas in the quarter-finals.

“Obviously the last two years here he has played great tennis,” said Murray of Wawrinka. “After he got through the tough first round here against (Lukas) Rosol he’s played very well. It’ll be very tough. He plays well on that court, so I’ll have to play great tennis to beat him.”

Meanwhile Novak Djokovic admitted he was lucky to still be in the French Open after dicing with disqualification in his 6-3 7-5 6-3 quarter-final victory over Tomas Berdych.

However, but for the quick reactions of a line judge, he might have found himself sensationally being defaulted.

After missing a break point early in the third set, Djokovic bounced his racket angrily on the ground and then looked round in horror as it flew towards a line judge.

The official dodged out of the way and the racket hit the back fence. Djokovic was full of apologies and knew things could have ended differently.

Djokovic was testy when discussing the subject, saying: “I threw a racket on the ground and it slipped and almost hit the line umpire. I was lucky there. That’s all.”

In the women’s championship Serena Williams mounted a fightback to defeat Yulia Putintseva in the quarter-finals. The world number one headed into the last eight as a huge favourite to successfully defend her title but was panicky throughout the first two sets against Putintseva and was lucky to escape with a 5-7 6-4 6-1 victory.

Williams said: “She played unbelievable. And I honestly didn’t think I was going to win that in the second set. Somehow I did.”

In the last four, Williams plays another unseeded player in Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens, who continued her remarkable run by upsetting Timea Bacsinszky 7-5 6-2.

Bertens has been stunned by her success and called this latest victory “crazy”. She looked up in disbelief to her family in the stands, saying afterwards: “I was like, Can you believe it? Because I cannot. And also my parents were like, ‘No, this is not happening’. But, yeah, it is.”

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