Andy Murray’s French Open hopes ended with a five-set defeat by Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals.
The world number one was beaten 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 in four hours and 34 minutes. It was a repeat of last year’s semi-final; which the Briton won before going on to lose the final to Novak Djokovic.
Former champion Wawrinka will play Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s final after the Spaniard beat Dominic Thiem.
Nadal, who beat the Austrian 6-3 6-4 6-0, will become the first player in the open era to win 10 titles at one Grand Slam if he beats Wawrinka. The 31-year-old Nadal is yet to drop a set in this year’s tournament; as he looks to secure his first Grand Slam since winning in Paris in 2014.
Wawrinka winners too much for Murray
Wawrinka will get the chance to add a second Roland Garros title to his 2015 victory; and move ahead of Murray with four Grand Slam titles, after his shot-making won the day.
The Swiss hit 87 winners – 45 on the forehand side – as he finally overcame the determination and defensive skills of Murray.
Short on matches after a season interrupted by illness and injury, Murray got within four points of victory; but ultimately ran out of gas as Stan made him cover a punishing 4.5km over more than four hours.
“It was not like I was far away from winning the match,” said Murray.
“I was close to finishing it in the fourth set. There are a few things that I for sure feel I could do better, I would have liked to have done a bit differently.”
The Swiss went on a run of seven games in a row to take the second and move 3-0 up in the third; as he pulled the Scot from side to side before firing winners into the spaces down each line.
It took a magnificent response from Murray, twice a break down; to edge the third set as he harried and chased into the far reaches of Philippe Chatrier Court.
“Physically I didn’t feel my best at the end,” said Murray. “It is more like I didn’t have enough weight on my shot at the end to put him under any real pressure.A�And against a shot-maker, someone who hits the ball as big as him, that’s obviously not ideal.” b322)}