Andy Murray reaches semi-final of French Open

Andy Murray did things the hard way again as he defeated unseeded Juan Ignacio Chela 7-6 (7/2) 7-5 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the French Open for the first time.

The world number four fought back from two breaks down to win the first set then squandered the same advantage in the second before eventually battling through.



The prize for Murray, who looked mentally and physically drained after an eventful few days in Paris, is a last-four clash with five-time champion Rafael Nadal on Friday.



Murray, again playing on Court Suzanne Lenglen, had lost the first five games of his previous match against Viktor Troicki as he struggled with the effects of a torn tendon in his right ankle and it was not much better today.



The Scot appeared to be moving okay but he did not deal well with the blustery conditions and, from 1-0 up, lost four straight games to experienced campaigner Chela.



It was the third year in a row in which the Argentinian had found himself facing Murray at Roland Garros and, although he had lost both times, last year was far from straightforward.



Chela was simply not missing from the baseline but the British number one dug deep to retrieve one break before saving two set points on his own serve, the second with a superb dinked backhand.



Still Chela had a chance to serve out the set but he let Murray back in by hitting a double-fault on set point and, after he missed a between-the-legs shot by a whisker, the Scot levelled at 5-5 with a superb forehand winner.



Still it was not straightforward as the 24-year-old was forced to save two more break points to set up a tie-break. This time he did take control, winning five points in a row to lead 5-1 and then taking his first set point.



Unbelievably the second set adopted the same strange pattern, although this time it was Murray who took the lead and was then pegged back after squandering opportunities.



The fourth seed broke immediately and, after saving four break points in the second game, pulled 4-1 ahead.



Chela, who lost to Tim Henman on his only previous appearance in the last eight in 2004, must have been wondering how he was behind in a match in which he had had so many chances.



He looked weary and when two more breaks left Murray serving for the set at 5-2, it seemed the match as a contest was all but over.



There was a big twist to come, though, as the Scot missed two set points on his own serve, another on Chela's and was then broken for the second time in a row as the 31-year-old made it 5-5.



The Argentinian now had a new lease of life and if he could have held he would have been favourite to level the match but back came Murray and this time he served out the set with an ace on his fifth opportunity.



The Scot certainly would have wanted to finish the job in three sets and he made the perfect start to the third with yet another break of serve as Chela double-faulted twice.



Murray at last took full control of proceedings and when he broke for a 5-2 lead, pounding Chela with huge groundstrokes, the end was nigh.



Still there was time for the Argentinian to create another break point but the 24-year-old saved it with an ace before wrapping up victory with a drop shot in two hours and 53 minutes.

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders