Britain's Andy Murray revelled in producing one of the finest clay performances of his career after outplaying defending champion Stan Wawrinka to reach his first-ever French Open final.
Murray had never previous claimed a set on clay against Wawrinka of Switzerland but prevailed 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 and will now face world No1 Novak Djokovic, who beat Austrian 13th seed Dominic Thiem in straight sets, in Sunday’s final.
World No2 Murray, 29, is the first British man to reach the final at Roland Garros since Bunny Austin in 1937, while Murray will now aim to emulate Fred Perry’s 1936 tournament victory.
“I knew today if I wanted to win I was going to have to play one of my best clay-court matches,” said Murray, who had lost his previous three showdowns against Wawrinka.
“Stan was playing better every match and I played one of my best matches.
“I’m looking forward to the final. I’m extremely proud. I never expected to reach the final here, I always struggled on the clay. I hope I can put on a good match on Sunday.”
Murray is now one of 10 male players who have reached the final of all four grand slams.
Djokovic eased into his sixth consecutive grand slam final after crushing Thiem 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. Like he did in Paris a year ago, the 29-year-old will now have the opportunity to claim a career grand slam during Sunday’s final.
“I played the best tennis of the tournament so far,” said Djokovic. “I am now in the situation where I always dream of being each season, in the final of Roland Garros.”
World No1 and defending champion Serena Williams, meanwhile, remained on course to equal Steffi Graf’s Open era record of 22 grand slam singles titles after dispatching the unseeded Kiki Bertens of Holland.
The American top seed prevailed 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 and will now face Spain’s Garbine Muguruza tomorrow in what is a repeat of last year’s women’s final at Wimbledon, which Williams won.
Muguruza became the first Spanish women to reach the final at Roland Garros since Conchita Martinez in 2000 after brushing aside 2010 runner-up Sam Stosur 6-2, 6-4.
“Emotions can sometimes be bad when you make a final,” said Muguruza. “Sometimes you just have to stay calm, prepare yourself as best you can and play with no regrets.”