Murray dispatches Wawrinka to set up Djokovic showdown


Andy Murray will meet Novak Djokovic in his first French Open final after a largely imperious display took him past Stan Wawrinka in four sets.

After edging a tight, tense first set, the world number two outplayed, outthought and outmanoeuvred the defending Roland Garros champion in set two, before Wawrinka displayed impressive resolve to nick the third.

But Murray reasserted himself to take the fourth comfortably and seal a 6-4 6-2 4-6 6-2 victory. 

The Briton now has the full set of grand-slam finals in his portfolio, with his nemesis Djokovic - who dismantled Dominic Thiem in the other semi-final - providing a considerable obstacle to his hopes of landing a third major title on Court Philippe Chatrier on Sunday.

Wawrinka began on the front foot, easing through his first service game before forcing Murray to save a break point with a backhand at the net as the Scot scrambled to 1-1.

But the second seed then edged a stunning rally to break and duly consolidated with a well-executed lob to seize control after a breathless start.

The match settled into a rhythm with both men trading comfortable holds, but Murray's early break proved the difference as he resisted three break points earned by Wawrinka's brutal groundstrokes off both wings before sealing the set when the Swiss sent a backhand long.

It appeared as if a titanic struggle was on the cards in front of the onlooking Leonardo Di Caprio, but Murray upped his level to such a degree in the second set that Wawrinka - a two-time slam champion and world number four, no less - was rendered helpless.

While Wawrinka's muscle remained in evidence, his accuracy - particularly off his backhand side - deserted him and Murray took full advantage.

A ruthless break to love put the second seed in control and dampened the spirits of a crowd partisan in the favour of their soon-to-be dethroned champion.

Murray was moving through the gears, leaving Wawrinka to stand and admire - and acknowledge with a thumbs-up - the brilliance of one backhand winner that helped put the Briton 3-1 to the good.

A buoyant Murray earned the double break with another backhand winner, before serving out the set with ease.

To his credit, Wawrinka offered resistance in the third set as he re-energised a crowd that had been flattened by Murray's brilliance.

And, after nine holds of serve, it was Murray who blinked first as Wawrinka broke and gave himself a glimmer of hope.

But Murray broke in the first game of the fourth, and then turned on the style with a couple of quite breathtaking drop shots midway through the set, the ball almost hitting Wawrinka's side of the net such was the force of spin Murray had exerted.

The world number two then broke again in the seventh game when Wawrinka slashed a wild forehand long, before serving out to advance to a 10th slam final, and seventh against Djokovic.



Murray [2] bt Wawrinka [3] 6-4 6-2 4-6 6-2

Murray - 25/22
Wawrinka - 41/43

Murray - 3
Wawrinka - 1

Murray - 5/15
Wawrinka - 1/5

Murray - 67
Wawrinka - 59

Murray - 58/22
Wawrinka - 43/22

Murray - 109
Wawrinka - 106