Andy Murray beats David Ferrer to set up French Open clash with Novak Djokovic :
Andy Murray will face Novak Djokovic in a blockbuster French Open semi-final on Friday after beating David Ferrer in four sets.
Despite losing the third set, the No 3 seed always looked in control against the Spaniard, running out a 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 5-7 6-1 victor and remaining unbeaten on clay this season.
Ferrer had a 100 per cent record over Murray from four previous meetings on clay but struggled to handle Murray’s imperious defensive play from the baseline.
The pendulum of momentum swung from player to player in the opening set, with both men struggling to hold their serve to the extent that the first four games all went against the man with the ball in his hand.
After a titanic one hour of topsy-turvy tennis, Murray stepped up in the tie-break to force his neck over the line and win the opening set courtesy of a 7-4 win in the decider.
Ferrer’s serve then went to pot in the second, racking up two double faults in the fourth game to hand the break to Murray.
The Briton kept his nerve and won the set with an array of world-class shots, including a dream of a drop shot that almost spun 180 degrees away from a despairing Ferrer dive.
Despite Ferrer’s willingness and tenacious attitude around the court, it was Murray that continued to force the mistakes in the third set. He got the all-important break in the third game and it looked just a matter of time before he finished off the dogged Spaniard.
However, a mistake-ridden game by the No 3 seed handed Ferrer an easy break to bring the set back level before he had to dig deep to save a Murray match point on his own serve at 5-4.
From there he upped his game and sensationally dismantled the Murray serve to land the set 7-5.
The crowd was now full in support of the gutsy Ferrer but they were soon silenced as Murray saved his best tennis for the final 40 minutes.
His play from the baseline was almost impossible to fault as Ferrer couldn’t break through the Murray defence and resorted to an over aggressive shot selection that played straight into Murray’s hands.
There was to be no response from a tiring Ferrer as Murray flew into a 5-0 lead and he completed the job with a unreturnable serve and fist pump to coach Amelie Mauresmo in the crowd.
Next stop? Djokovic. The Serb beat nine-time champion Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-3 6-1 in the other quarter-final on Wednesday.