Need to learn from US Open defeat to Nishikori, says Murray

The world number one avoided the fate of Novak Djokovic - the man who beat Murray in the final at Roland Garros a year ago - who was accused of "tanking" in his defeat to Austria's Dominic Thiem earlier in the day, and the Scot will now face Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka in the last four.

Next up for Murray is a showdown with No. 3 seed Stanislas Wawrinka, who was imperious as he coasted past Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in his quarter-final on the same day.

"Stan's played fantastically this tournament so far", Murray warned.

This match is a toss-up in my eyes, as Wawrinka does have the edge on clay and is playing better tennis overall, but it's tough to bet against Murray and that defense.

"Well, I try to take couple days off, because I have some issues with my body right now", the 27-year-old said.

The French Open men's and women's quarterfinals begin today with men's second seed Novak Djokovic against No. 6 Dominic Thiem and fourth seed Rafael Nadal versus Pablo Carreno Busta. I think Andy's probably a bit less confident [than last year], a bit more hesitant.

The Swiss third seed broke the big-serving Cilic six times, spraying the court with winners throughout the match to ruthlessly sweep the seventh seed aside. "I have never seen that", the three-time Grand Slam champion Murray said.

The match was still evenly poised - it was only 1-1 - yet it seemed as if Nishikori knew he'd missed his chance. "Kei, you know, obviously lost against him at the US Open". His contribution to the all-important third set tie-break was to make three forehand unforced errors, three backhand unforced errors and serve a double fault.

"It's never easy and I think this week he's been playing well, I've been watching some matches".

'It felt to me like it was a odd decision, ' he said after the 2-6 6-1 7-6 (7-0) 6-1 win over the world No. 9.

"But the fact that Thiem took that set and started to be a little bit more [confident] and going a little bit more for his shot, he killed the match". He's a great player.

"There have been other tournaments where making it to the semi-finals was much more hard", Wawrinka said. But this continued what has become something of a 12-month downward slide for him since he finally grabbed ahold of the French Open championship he had so long sought. Otherwise, he lost his No. 1 ranking to Andy Murray and lost in the third round of Wimbledon, the first round of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and the second round of the Australian Open. In the final game, he threw everything he had left at Murray to force them into a tiebreak but that was the end of him.

Murray, 30, arrived in Paris short of wins after a season interrupted by illness and injury, but has found his form over the course of five matches at Roland Garros.

  • Julie Sanders