Murray toils over Troicki

Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray posts a fourth-round victory at the French Open as Federer sets up Djokovic semi.

    Britain's Andy Murray tests out his ankle at Roland Garros [AFP]

    Britain's Andy Murray mustered the strength to push through to the French Open quarter-finals on Tuesday with a 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 victory over Serbian Viktor Troicki in a game that had been suspended on Monday due to bad light.

    It was unclear whether the three-time Grand Slam runner-up would progress this far after injuring his right ankle in the previous round, but Murray showed his class to set up a last eight showdown against Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela.

    Third seed Roger Federer sealed an eagerly-awaited semi-final clash with world number two Novak Djokovic after gliding past Gael Monfils 6-4 6-3 7-6.

    The Swiss has not dropped a set at Roland Garros so far this year and although there were a few chinks in his armour, he was ruthless when break points arose and Court Philippe Chatrier had to applaud the 2009 winner rather than Frenchman Monfils.

    Marion Bartoli became the first Frenchwoman to reach the semi-finals since 2005 after she beat former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 6-4.

    Defending women's champion Francesca Schiavone also rallied, reaching the semi-finals by beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 1-6, 7-5, 7-5.


    Murray, who is yet to win a Grand Slam title, fell 5-0 behind on Court Suzanne Lenglen on Monday in just 18 minutes as he looked in pain and on the brink of pulling out before fighting back to level at two sets all.

    The match resumed on Tuesday with an unusual incident. A ball boy inexplicably ran on to the court in front of Troicki during a rally as the Serb moved to the net for a smash in the sixth game.

    Because of "movement during the exchange", umpire Pascal Maria had the point replayed as Troicki boiled over, but the Serb broke for 4-2.

    He came within two points of victory when he led 5-3, 30-0 on his serve but made a string of unforced errors to let Murray back into the contest.

    The 24-year-old wasted three match points but a gravity-defying crosscourt backhand passing winner sent him through after almost four hours.

    It is the fifth time in the 24-year-old Murray's career that he has come back from two sets down to win. The fourth-seeded player is now 11-5 in five-set matches.

    Ankle concerns

    Murray has admitted that his troublesome ankle will be a source of concern when he meets unseeded Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela for a place in semis.

    "The problem is if you go over on the ankle again," said Murray, who sprained his right ankle and sustained a partial tendon tear against Berrer.

    "That's the danger because obviously it's weak just now... It's one thing I have to be careful with. Going over on it again would be an issue."

    Schiavone struggled to cope with windy conditions on court Philippe Chatrier as Moscow-based Pavlyuchenkova wore long sleeves and hit long balls to unsettle the Italian fifth seed.

    It worked perfectly for Pavlyuchenkova, who knocked out world number three Vera Zvonareva in the previous round, and she raced into a 6-1 4-2 lead.

    But with her back to the wall at 2-4, 0-40 down in the second set, Schiavone bounced back, grunting as her game gradually fell into place and her opponent's started to unravel as she won six games in a row.

    Pavlyuchenkova broke back for 5-5, only for Schiavone to steal her serve again and end the contest with a backhand winner.

    "I did not play good, I hope I will play better in the semi-final because this crowd deserve to see good tennis," Schiavone, who put some clay on her face after the match point, told a courtside interviewer.

    Last year at Roland Garros, Schiavone became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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