Andy Murray beats Nishikori in French Open quarters


Britain’s Andy Murray reached his fourth consecutive French Open semi-final with a four-set win over Kei Nishikori in Paris.
The world number one came through 2-6 6-1 7-6 (7-0) 6-1 against the Japanese eighth seed at Roland Garros.
The 30-year-old goes on to face Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka, who beat Marin Cilic 6-3 6-3 6-1.
It is a repeat of last year’s semi-final, which Murray won in four sets before going on to lose in the final.
“Stan has played fantastic this tournament so far,” said the Scot, who was beaten by Novak Djokovic in last year’s showpiece.
“Last year when we met he was playing very well and I had to play one of my best matches on clay to beat him.
“It’s not always been easy for me here but the last few years have been great.”
Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal will take on Dominic Thiem in the second semi-final, after the Austrian knocked out defending champion Djokovic.
After impressive wins in the previous two rounds, Andy Murray claimed another fine result, albeit in less clinical fashion.
The pair shared 12 breaks of serve on another blustery Paris day, with Nishikori starting superbly but fading as Murray reeled him in.
Nishikori, 27, broke serve twice to take the first set as his groundstrokes had Murray constantly on the defensive.
Andy Murray’s mood was not improved by an early time violation from umpire Carlos Ramos, but it took another in the second set to fire up the top seed.
The Briton remonstrated with the official before returning to the action, fired by injustice, roaring “Let’s go!” as he clinched the game.
The first streak of Nishikori brilliance was over and the Japanese player double-faulted to drop serve at 3-1, and then woefully misjudged leaving a ball that landed well inside the baseline to fall 5-1 down.
Nishikori twice fell a break behind with poor service games in the third set only to hit straight back each time, infuriating Murray, who served for the set at 6-5.
It might have been expected to shift the momentum in Nishikori’s favour, but he played a desperate tie-break and Murray reeled off all seven points.
A brilliant piece of trademark Murray scrambling helped secure the decisive break midway through the fourth set and Nishikori’s challenge was as good as over.
“Come on!” screamed Murray as he broke again for a 5-1 lead before closing out the match with one of his easier service games of the afternoon.
The momentum of the match switched sharply after umpire Carlos Ramos penalised Murray the loss of a serve for a time violation.
Andy Murray later said any delay was down to him missing a ball toss.
“Obviously for a couple of points after that I was fired up, because I was frustrated at that moment,” he said.
“It felt to me like it was a strange decision. I have never seen anyone get a warning after they have missed the ball toss. I have never seen that.
“So I was frustrated about it, but I don’t know how much impact that had.”

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