Andy Murray insists he has the belief to win the French Open after setting up a semi-final clash with reigning champion Stan Wawrinka.
World number two Murray saw off Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals, beating the Frenchman 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 6-2, albeit having looked in a precarious position when trailing 3-1 in the tie-break of the second set.
Roland Garros is the only grand slam which Murray has yet to reach the final of. While he has never won a set against Wawrinka on clay, the Brit has taken plenty of confidence from his victory over Novak Djokovic at the Rome Masters last month.
“Last year was similar. I came in not having lost on the clay and played some really good tennis. I believe I can win the event. Whether I do or not, we’ll have to wait and see,” he told reporters. “But I believe it’s possible and only a couple of matches away now. I’ll just give everything I’ve got the next few days.”
The clash with Wawrinka will be Murray’s 19th grand slam semi-final, drawing him level with Stefan Edberg and John McEnroe, and he managed to reach the last four despite the crowd being hugely in favour of Gasquet, who was left to rue the missed opportunity of the second set tie-break.
“I have played in worse atmospheres. For sure the crowd were behind him, but it wasn’t too bad,” Murray said. “I was creating a lot of chances and I wasn’t taking them. That stretch of five or six points was huge from 3-1 [in the tie-break]. I served a double fault at 2-1 in the tie-break, and then my next two serves were aces.”
Murray has now played in a number of gruelling encounters at the tournament, needing five sets to beat Radek Stepanek and Mathias Bourgue in the opening two rounds.
And while he admits his form could have been smoother, the 29-year-old was happy with his quarter-final display.
“I think I played some really good stuff today. Obviously the match could have been maybe more comfortable had I done a bit better serving out the first two sets,” he added.
“I finished the match extremely well. It wasn’t easy for me. I played two guys where you get zero rhythm, against [Ivo] Karlovic and [John] Isner.
“Then a two-day break where you’re barely hitting any balls because of the conditions. Then coming out and playing a completely different match today. I thought I did well for the most part.”
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