BRITAIN’S Andy Murray side-stepped the disappointment of squandering a third-set match point to dispatch Spain’s David Ferrer yesterday and set up a French Open semi-final clash with world No1 Novak Djokovic.
Murray recorded his first ever victory over Ferrer on clay at the fifth attempt, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1, to reach the 16th grand slam semi-final of his career and his third at Roland Garros.
Blocking the Scot’s first appearance in a French Open final is Djokovic, who brushed aside nine-time winner Rafael Nadal in straight sets. Murray has failed to beat the big-hitting Serbian in their last seven meetings.
“The third set was a tough one to lose,” said Murray, who is now unbeaten in 15 clay-court matches. “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.”
Djokovic remained on course to seal a career grand slam by dismantling Nadal 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 – only the Spaniard’s second ever defeat on the clay of Roland Garros, with the first coming 40 matches ago.
“It’s definitely a big win, a match that I will remember for a long time,” said 2012 and 2014 runner-up Djokovic. “You prepare for this match in the best possible way tactically, mentally and to get out there and execute your plan.”
Top seed Serena Williams, meanwhile, wasted little time in brushing past 17th seed Sara Errani 6-1, 6-3 to book her place in the semi-final of the women’s tournament as she seeks a 20th grand slam title. The 33-year-old will play Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky, who beat Alison van Uytvanck of Belgium 6-4, 7-5.