Wimbledon champion Andy Murray moved to the semifinals of tennis’s French Open by defeating 23rd-seed Gael Monfils in five sets.
Murray, the seventh seed, beat the Frenchman 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-0. The British player will face defending champion Rafael Nadal, who beat fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.
Murray looked out of the match after Monfils, drawing support from the Parisian crowd, came back from two sets down. With the light fading, officials allowed the players to start the fifth set, with Monfils having the momentum. Instead, Murray took control.
“It was very windy at the start and it was damp and heavy,” Murray said in a court-side interview. “When the wind died down, he started playing a lot better. I was lucky in the end he started the fifth set badly.”
Nadal overcame a slow start to beat Ferrer, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1 on the Court Suzanne Lenglen in Paris. It was the first time Nadal lost a set in the tournament.
The eight-time champion is trying to become the first man in the Open era to win the French Open five times in a row.
In the women’s tournament, Romania’s Simona Halep defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets to set up a semifinal with Andrea Petkovic of Germany.
Today’s victories by Halep, the 4th seed, and Petkovic, the 28th seed, increase the chances of a new women’s champion at the clay court tennis Grand Slam. Former title holder Maria Sharapova takes on 20-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, in the other semifinal.
Halep defeated Sharapova’s Russian compatriot Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-2, while Petkovic eased past Italy’s Sara Errani by the same score to move to her first French Open semifinal. Halep is the highest seed left in the women’s event after defending champion Serena Williams of the U.S., ex-title holder Li Na of China and third seed Agnieszka Radwanska fell in early rounds.