June 28, 2017

French Open finals: Nadal vs. Wawrinka, Halep vs. Ostapenko

10 June 2017, 12:50 | Jackie Morgan

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Rafael Nadal stands just one more victory away from securing a record 10th French Open title following a typically dominant last-four win over Dominic Thiem at Roland Garros.

Stan Wawrinka beat top-ranked Andy Murray 6-7 (6), 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-1 to reach the French Open final.

Victory on Sunday would see Nadal become the first player to win the same grand slam 10 times in the modern era.

Wawrinka will now need to summon that energy once again when he plays the greatest clay play ever in Sunday's final: Rafael Nadal.

Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland (right) shakes hands with Andy Murray of Britain after winning their men's singles semi-final at the French Open.

Wawrinka has won all 15 sets he has played, knocking over unsafe opponents like Fabio Fognini, Monfils and Cilic without any fuss. "I think that Rafael did not play at his best, but well enough".

The third was an absolute thriller as Murray dropped serve early to trail 0-3.

Wawrinka has previously beaten Nadal in a Grand Slam final, at the Australian Open in 2014, but the Spaniard has won all nine of his previous finals on his favoured clay at Roland Garros. "I don't know how I'm going to play", Murray said after beating Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals. It's only the second time Djokovic lost a final set by the score of 6-0 in his 937 career tour-level matches. 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 win catapulted Wawrinka into his fourth major final and his second here - as the oldest man (32 years and 75 days) to contest a Roland Garros decider since Niki Pilic (33 years and 280 days) in 1973.

The decider flashed by in just half an hour as Wawrinka levelled his grand slam win-loss record against Murray to 3-3 with yet another backhand victor.

He coughed up a break advantage and the lead in the third set which allowed Murray to take the two-sets-to-one advantage, forcing Wawrinka to dig deep over the next two sets.

Murray arrived at Roland Garros on the back of a poor run of form which included early exits at Indian Wells, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome. "Obviously, it was a thrill and complete fulfillment, I guess", Djokovic said during an expansive and frank news conference. Pliskova beat Caroline Garcia, 7-6 (3), 6-4.

"It's true that I have been having a great tournament", Nadal said. "I was one tiebreak away from getting to the final when I came in really struggling", said Murray, the runner-up to Novak Djokovic 12 months ago. However, that just prolonged the inevitable as Wawrinka broke again to take the set 6-1. The way I was trying to keep my line, trying to keep being aggressive, keep going even if I lost a lot of points by some incredible defence from him.

Wawrinka raced into a 3-0 lead in the third before Murray halted a seven-game losing streak and retrieved the break in the fifth game. Most notable was Wawrinka's 87 winners to 77 unforced errors, in comparison to Murray's 36 winners to an equal 36 unforced errors. Breaking for 2-1, he was efficient behind his serve for the rest of the set as he moved ahead by two sets to love.

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