Published: Sat, June 10, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Nadal just 1 step away from 'La Decima' in Paris

Nadal just 1 step away from 'La Decima' in Paris

Murray, who fended off a set point in the tiebreaker, made only 10 unforced errors to Wawrinka's 23.

Wawrinka took advantage of a clearly tiring Murray to go 5-0 up and, though he did not succeed in dishing out a bagel, his charge could not be halted as he raced through the decisive set in style - fittingly wrapping things up with a fierce backhand.

Former champion Wawrinka will now face Rafael Nadal or Dominic Thiem in Sunday's final match. Thiem then earned more break points but couldn't capitalize, with Nadal then breaking for 3-1.

"I'm proud of the tournament I had". I did well considering.

A poor drop shot cost the world number one in the tie-break, which Wawrinka took with another bulldozing forehand.

"I don't know how close I am to that", Murray said. "I didn't have enough weight on my shot at the end of the match to put him under pressure". A lot of long points.

"When you haven't been playing loads, over four, four-and-a-half hours, that can catch up to you a little bit".

Stan Wawrinka's five-set victory over Andy Murray on Friday means Wawrinka will play in his second French Open final in three years, but it also has ramifications beyond Sunday-including for Novak Djokovic.

The Canadian tennis player announced the news through a brief statement on his Facebook page. "It was a decision taken together".

But what attack and what defence. He capped it, appropriately, with a backhand down the line, his 87th victor of the day, 51 more than Murray.

"It's incredible to be in another Roland Garros final", said Wawrinka, the oldest finalist since 33-year-old Niki Pilic was runner-up in 1973.

The Swiss hit 87 winners - 45 on the forehand side - as he finally overcame the determination and defensive skills of Murray.

However, neither player could create a break point during a fiercely-contested fourth and during the tie-break, there were signs that Murray was beginning to wilt as the clock ticked past the four-hour mark.

So Wawrinka ran away with the fifth set, taking 16 of the first 21 points and going up 5-0.

He may, though, look back on the third set as a real opportunity lost, relinquishing a 3-0 lead as the momentum switched between the players with Murray effectively stealing the third set for a 2-1 lead. No one in tennis anticipates like Murray, and the Scot's ability not just to get a racket to smashes but to send them back with interest was driving Wawrinka to distraction. Murray used plenty of drop shots and lobs, often to great effect.

Wawrinka was very happy with the way he stayed mentally in the match and felt Murray was not the same opponent he faced 12 months ago.

"There are always two ways of looking at things, you can either think about being two-one down after being ahead or focus on the fact that you were dominating and you can be in control of the points".

Having thrown the kitchen sink, the cooker, the fridge and anything else he could lay his hands on at Andy Murray, only to find himself behind, Stan Wawrinka could have been excused if he had thrown in the towel on Friday.

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