Andy Murray will play world No 1 Novak Djokovic for a place in the French Open final after the Scot yesterday sealed a hard-fought victory over Spain’s David Ferrer.
Murray dropped the third set after squandering a match point, but the British No 1 produced his scintillating best in the fourth to win 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 5-7 6-1.
It was Murray’s first victory over Ferrer on clay and means he will face Djokovic in the semi-final after the Serb ousted nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match,” Murray said.
“The third set was a tough one to lose, he fought back and made it very difficult.
“The groundsman watered the court and I went to the bathroom to take a few minutes and get my composure back. That helped.
“I was frustrated because I had the match point and it’s very difficult to play a full set more when you’ve just lost a match point.”
Murray has lost all of his last seven meetings against Djokovic and if he is to prevent the world No 1 from claiming his first title at Roland Garros, he cannot allow the same lapses of concentration he afforded Ferrer.
Nadal’s defeat was only his second at the French Open in 11 years.
Djokovic was the form player going into the contest and any doubts over his ability to oust Nadal were rapidly extinguished as he sealed a stunning 7-5 6-3 6-1 victory.
It is the Serb’s first success in seven meetings against Nadal in Paris and the win keeps him on course for a first French Open title.
“It’s definitely a big win, a match that I will remember for a long time,” Djokovic said.
“You prepare for this match in the best possible way tactically, mentally, and to get out there and execute your plan.
“Obviously it’s easier said than done when you’re on the court with him and on the court that he has only lost once in his entire career.
“It’s not easy to sometimes execute the plan that you prepared before the match but I managed to do that.”