Stan Wawrinka is next in Andy Murray's sights as he chases Paris title
Murray stands on the verge of creating another slice of tennis history today as he faces defending champion Stan Wawrinka in the last four at Roland Garros.
Bunny Austin was the last British man to reach the Sunday showpiece on the clay courts of Paris in 1937.
But Murray, who would complete a set of reaching all four major finals, is not thinking about half measures on his crusade for a third grand slam.
“If I was able to make the final here it would be big, but I’m here to try and win the tournament, not make the final,” said the 29-year-old.
The Scot is unbeaten in his last 10 matches on clay after winning the Italian Open prior to triumphs over Radek Stepanek, Mathias Bourgue, Ivo Karlovic, John Isner and Richard Gasquet in Paris.
A win over Wawrinka would put Murray into a 10th grand slam final, but none have come in front of the French crowd.
Murray has fallen at the semi-final stage three times in his career, with Rafael Nadal, twice, and Novak Djokovic, over five sets last year, defeating him.
Should he reach Sunday’s showpiece on Court Philippe Chatrier – where a match-up against world No 1 Djokovic is a distinct possibility – Murray will add another personal first to his impressive record.
Murray 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.”
Wawrinka was a shock winner over Djokovic in Roland Garros 12 months ago when he recorded his second grand slam success.
The 31-year-old has been inconsistent on tour in 2016 and has not beaten another top-10 player.
Serbian Victor Troicki has been the Swiss’s highest-ranked opponent so far in Paris and despite Lucas Rosol forcing a fifth set in round one, the third seed has rarely been tested on his route to the last four.
Of Wawrinka, Murray said: “After he got through the tough first round here against (Lukas) Rosol he’s played very well.
“He’s been at the top of the game now for a number of years and is still improving.
“He’s been a little bit inconsistent this year, but he won the tournament last week (in Geneva) and has been playing better with each match here.”
Djokovic will face promising Austrian Dominic Thiem in the second semi-final after sweeping past seventh seed Tomas Berdych yesterday.
The world No 1 came through on another rain-affected day in Paris in straight-sets, 6-3 7-5 6-3, while Thiem reached his first slam semi-final with victory over Belgium’s David Goffin 4-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 6-1.