Murray To Face Wawrinka In Roland Garros Semis

Andy Murray

PARIS, June 1, 2016

After Monday’s washout – the first time a day has passed without a ball being struck due to weather at Roland Garros in 16 years – and another rainy Tuesday, there were six men’s singles matches scheduled on Wednesday.

The top half of the draw still had to finish their fourth round matches with Novak Djokovic beating Roberto Bautista-Agut 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 in three hours and 12 minutes.

“I remember early in my career I played a match against Kiefer in Wimbledon for five days. That was the longest I have played for one match. This is probably the second longest. Same reason: rain,” Djokovic told after his three days encounter with the Spaniard.

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“Weather conditions are something you can’t really affect if you don’t have special abilities. Other than that, you have to wait and pray for good weather, and that’s what we did. Yesterday the match was interrupted three times, and of course it wasn’t easy coming into the facilities here at 9:00 a.m. and leaving at 7:30 or 8:00 p.m., but it’s not the first and probably not the last time I’m going to have to face these particular circumstances. Not only for us players but it was difficult for all the crowds that were coming in and paying tickets to watch the matches. Then they watch maybe an hour and then they go home, and two days ago, no matches at all. And the weather forecast, as far as I heard, is not that great for the coming days. So that’s the reason why we should have the roof here. I’m hoping we’re going to have it very soon,” the world number one was smiling.

“Conditions were definitely on the edge throughout the entire day yesterday. Bautista and I played I think more than two sets in the mist. It was literally maybe five to ten minutes of the entire stay of over one-and-a-half hours we had yesterday on the court without rain. So it was practically raining throughout the entire play, which made it more and more difficult for our performances and focus and everything, but you have to accept the circumstances and the decision.”

Djokovic moved into his 10th Roland Garros quarterfinal to draw level with Rafael Nadal in 2nd place on the list for most appearances in the last 8 in Paris.

“For now I will just focus on my quarterfinals tomorrow that I’m supposed to play, and then we’ll see what happens. Obviously I wish I can play tomorrow. Let’s see if that happens and then we will take it from there.”

Djokovic will meet Tomas Berdych in the stage of the final eight, who dismissed David Ferrer 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes.

“I just get myself in the good position. I was playing well. I was able to use these tough conditions of being cold and very wet as kind of my advantage when the ball was not bouncing high. I was able to play fast and through the courts. I think that I did a great job today,” Berdych said.

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Dominic Thiem advanced to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal with a 6-2, 6-7, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Marcel Granollers. The Austrian youngster capitalized on six of his 16 break point chances, finishing the match with his 55th winner.

“It’s a real great thing. Like two years ago I was here with Ernests (Gulbis) and he played semifinals, and back then I couldn’t really imagine that I’d go this far myself one day, and it’s already here like two years later and it feels really good,” the 22-year-old was happy.

Thiem will take on David Goffin for the eighth time. The 12th seed from Belgium is leading 6-2 in head to head records and rallied back from a set down to overcome Ernests Gulbis 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

“These three days were very tiring. It was tough. Two days when we almost didn’t play at all. So a bit like nightmare or hell, and I played a good match today when I was on the court, a good match. We played only three games yesterday. But I didn’t get off to a good start and I won the match today. So happiness to win, to go to the quarterfinals for the first time. So I’m going to enjoy it now. But then tomorrow we’re back again,” told Goffin after reaching the stage of the final eight at Roland Garros for the first time.

Later the day, the first two quarterfinals were played with Andy Murray rallying back against Richard Gasquet to celebrate a 5-7, 7-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory. The second seed from Great Britain sent down 11 aces, hitting 62 winners not only facing his opponent, but also the French crowd on court Philippe Chatrier.

“It wasn’t actually too bad, to be honest. I have played in worse atmospheres,” Murray told afterwards.  “For sure the crowd were behind him, but it wasn’t too bad. I was creating a lot of chances and wasn’t taking them. That stretch of five or six points was huge from 3-1. I served a double fault at 2-1 in the tiebreak, and then my next two serves were aces. Got a good contact on a return at 3-3, and I remember at 3-2 hitting a dropshot and he had a backhand which hit the tape andthose points there changed the match.”

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Murray made it into the semi-finals of the French Open for the fourth time, facing reigning champion Stan Wawrinka next.

The third seed from Switzerland eased past Albert Ramos, winning 6-2, 6-1, 7-6. Wawrinka smashed eight aces and capitalized on five of his 11 break points.

“I am really happy to play again another semifinal here, especially seeing the way I’m playing, the way I’m feeling. It’s a great feeling,” Wawrinka was pleased with his performance.

“I think it gives me more confidence, for sure, and less pressure, because I won the title here last year. So I have a different mentality this year. I’m feeling way better. Today it was a really good match. I played some really good tennis. I was really focused out there. I am moving well. I’m really happy with what I’m doing so far, and being in the semifinal again, it’s something really good for me.”