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Tuesday , 22 January 2019
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Murray beats Monfils and crowd to reach semi-finals

Andy Murray defeated the last French hope Gael Monfils on a rowdy Philippe Chatrier centre court on Wednesday to reach the French Open semi-finals 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-0.

 With bad light threatening to stop play and a rock concert-like crowd cheering every Monfils winner and even every Murray mistake, the Briton turned in a stellar, 24-minute fifth set to snatch victory.

The day’s play, which was delayed earlier by three hours of rain, finally wrapped up at 2140 local time (1940GMT).

“It was very tough out there, I first played against Gael (Monfils) when we were about 10 or 11 in Rouen which is just a few miles from here but he’s a very good friend,” said Murray.

“The conditions were tough, it was very windy and slow, heavy and he moves so well around the court, probably the best of anyone on the Tour.”

The Wimbledon champion reaches the last four at Roland Garros for the first time since 2011 when he lost against Rafael Nadal, and now faces the eight-time champion again in a bid to reach the championship match for the first time in Paris.

“Well, he has very good memories on this court,” Murray joked about the man chasing a record fifth straight French title.

“Right now, I’m just very happy to be in the semi-finals and Im going to try and play my best tennis.”

Nadal overpowered fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1 in the day’s second quarter-final that also finished just before dusk.

The 27-year-old Scot also sets a new British record of reaching 14 Grand Slam semi-finals, going one better than Fred Perry.

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