Andy Murray 'fired up' by 'strange' time violation at French Open

"He's playing well, I'll need to take it to him and play some good tennis if I'm to win".

Nishikori didn't have it all his own way against Verdasco, failing to win a single game in a 26-minute first set, but he recovered his composure to oust the 33-year-old and advance.

Wawrinka, who won the Roland Garros title in 2015, has still not dropped a set in Paris this year. I was rushing a little bit in long rallies.

Fourth round: No. 2 Karolina Pliskova beat Veronica Cepede Royg 2-6, 6-3, 6-4; No. 3 Simona Halep beat No. 21 Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-1; No. 5 Elina Svitolina beat Petra Martic 4-6, 6-3, 7-5; No. 28 Caroline Garcia beat Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-4.

This was a unusual match, with both men rarely playing well at the same time and Nishikori's level in particular going up and down like a yo-yo.

"Hopefully a different result", was Wawrinka's response when asked to look ahead to a repeat of last year's semi-final.

"I sill feel the ankle some times but I am able to run". Cilic also downed Milos Raonic to claim last month's Istanbul Open, just the second clay-court title of his career.

Nishikori, who beat Murray in the quarter-finals of last year's U.S. Open, could not sustain his early form and although he courageously forced a third-set tiebreak he lost that 7-0.

Murray remonstrated with the umpire, Carlos Ramos, who told him he was consistently well over the 20-second rule between points and the Scot, riled up, proceeded to turn his game around.

Austria's Dominic Thiem, who knocked out Djokovic in the quarter-finals, faces nine-time victor Rafael Nadal in the other semi-final. "It's winning when you're not playing your best that is more impressive", he added.

The Scot will now face the tournament's 2015 victor 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. Sometimes you can play so bad before a Grand Slam, but the Grand Slam comes and you win somehow, and you don't know why.

Nadal, who next faces Austrian Dominic Thiem after he knocked out holder Novak Djokovic, has spent only about eight hours on court, dropping 22 games, to reach his 10th French Open semi with his 100th win in a best-of-five sets match on clay.

"But I gained some confidence during second and third".

Meanwhile, torrential rain halted women's quarter-final action at the French Open yesterday. I think I'm playing better than a year ago, also. "So everything has been going very well". "But Rafa knows that so, I don't think it's going to happen". Murray hasn't played his best tennis in this tournament, but he finds ways to push through and has shown he doesn't have to play great to beat great competition.

  • Julie Sanders