Andy Murray rises in the fifth to beat Monfils

Last updated 08:40 05/06/2014
Andy Murray
Reuters

TOO GOOD IN THE END: Andy Murray got off to a flier against Gael Monfils, but it was in the fifth set where he showed his class - winning 6-0.

Gael Monfils
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HOME HOPE: Gael Monfils was the last Frenchman standing at this year's French Open.

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Briton Andy Murray ended home hopes by beating Gael Monfils 6-4 6-1 4-6 1-6 6-0 in front of a roaring crowd overnight to reach his first French Open semi-final since 2011.

The last Frenchman standing in Paris sent the decibel levels soaring when he stole back the third and fourth sets, but Wimbledon champion Murray was in a hurry to take the fifth and ensure the match did not carry over a day due to fading light.

Whipping up the Philippe Chatrier crowd, far from capacity after rain delayed the start of the day's play by almost three hours, Monfils rode the Mexican waves and shouts of ''Allez!'' to turn the game around.

However, Murray, who had mostly been greeted with indifferent applause and a few chants from the visiting Brits, mined his own energy reserves to steamroller the 27-year-old in the fifth and end any dreams of Monfils emulating Yannick Noah, the last Frenchman to win their home slam in 1983.

Showing few signs of the back injury that kept him out of last year's tournament, the seventh seed controlled play from the baseline in the first set, although the 23rd seed gave home fans hope with some returns from improbable angles.

The Scot stormed to a 5-1 lead in the second, but took eight set points to close it out after the game was briefly halted when a ball dropped out of Murray's pocket during play, sending both players to lobby the umpire before Murray conceded the point.

Murray, who reached his 14th grand slam semi-final, will play defending champion Rafa Nadal in the last four on Friday. He was beaten by the Spanish world number one at the same stage in 2011.

None of Murray's 28 titles have come on clay. The last Briton to win a title on clay was Buster Mottram in 1976.

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