World No1 Sir Andy Murray has promised to come out all guns blazing in his semi-final clash with Stan Wawrinka after booking his place in the French Open last four with victory over Kei Nishikori yesterday.
Three-time grand slam winner Murray fought back from a set down to beat eighth seed Nishikori of Japan 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-0), 6-1 and seal a semi-final spot at Roland Garros for the fourth successive year.
The Scot will now face the tournament’s 2015 winner Wawrinka, who beat Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-1, in what is a repeat of last year’s semi-final showdown which Murray won in four sets before losing to Novak Djokovic in the final.
“I will fight, fight and fight as hard as I can and hopefully make it a tough battle,” said Murray. “It has not always been easy for me here but the last few years have been great.
“Stan has been playing fantastic in this tournament – I don’t think he has dropped a set. Last year he was also playing well and I had to play one of my best matches to get through.”
Former world No1 Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, admitted that he is contemplating taking a break from tennis after his shock quarter-final hammering by sixth seed Dominic Thiem.
Djokovic, who has won 12 grand slams, was trounced 7-6, 6-3, 6-0, which means for the first time in seven years the Serbian will be absent from the last-four tussles in Paris. The 30-year-old is also set to slip out of the world’s top two.
When asked if he is considering taking time out of the game, he said: “Trust me, I’m thinking about many things. You know, especially in the last couple of months. I’m just trying to sense what’s the best thing for me now.
“Obviously there has been a lot of changes with the team and so forth. [I’ve been] so excited to work with Andre [Agassi] and a new team. At the same time, I have a responsibility to the game itself, towards others.
“We’ll see. Obviously it’s not an easy decision to make, but I will see how I feel after Roland Garros and then decide what to do next.”
Spain’s Rafael Nadal maintained his quest for a 10th French Open crown after fellow countryman Pablo Carreno Busta was forced to retire after receiving treatment for what appeared to be an abdominal problem. Nadal was leading 6-2, 2-0 at the time.
“Obviously, it was not the perfect way for the match to end and especially against a good friend,” said Nadal, who has lost just 22 games in five matches so far. “Sorry for him. He was playing great.”
In the women’s draw, third seed Simona Halep battled back from a set down to beat Elina Svitolina 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-0. Halep looked to be heading out, trailing 5-1 in the second set, but recovered and eventually saved match point.
“I don’t know how I came back,” said Halep. “She was playing tough, hard and strong. Maybe I was a little lucky but I didn’t give up.”
The Romanian will play Karolina Pliskova in the last four after the world No3 dispatched Caroline Garcia 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 in yesterday’s other last-eight tie.