Andy Murray vs Kei Nishikori, French Open live: World No 1 finds his rhythm to reach the semi-finals

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Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori meet in the quarter-finals of the French Open with a place in the last four up for grabs.

The two go head to head on Court Philippe Chatrier with Murray looking to avenge last year’s US Open defeat at the hands of the Japanese.

Live Updates

The live blog starts at 3.10pm. Tune in for game-by-game updates from Court Philippe Chatrier.
 
 
Hello all and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of today's quarter-final clash between Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori!
 
We should be in store for a cracking showdown as the Scot looks to avenge his defeat against the Japanese at last year's US Open.
 
Murray has slowly rediscovered his form and is favourite today to reach the last four at Roland Garros.
And here they come! The pair are met by a warm reception from the Roland Garros audience as they head out onto the court. No signs of rain, either. Phew.
A quick warm-up follows and we're ready to go!
Murray* 1-0 Nishikori (*denotes server):
 
The Scot fires down a wicked first serve which the Japanese only just manages to return but plays it short. Murray steps up calmly and drops his shot way out of reach for the first point. Nishikori sends a sublime forehand winner down the tramline to draw level but the world No 1 finds his rhythm to take the next two points. 40-15. A Nishikori drop-shot takes it to 40-30 before a quick-firing rally follows. It's the Japanese who blinks first, sending his forehand straight into the net.
Murray 1-1 Nishikori* (*denotes server):
 
Nishikori over hits a rasping backhand to put Murray ahead on the first point. The Scots looks to make it 30-0 with a sliced shot from deep but he fails to clear the net. 15-15. A sumptuous rally follows, with both men sending thunderous shots all over the court, but Murray eventually manoeuvres his opponent out wide before landing the killer blow with his forehand. The Japanese hits back with two winning shots and takes the game after another failed Murray drop-shot.
First set: Murray* 1-2 Nishikori (*denotes server):
 
Another unforced error from Murray as he hits the top of the net with his backhand on the first point. He makes up for it with an electrifying serve on the next point that the Japanese fails to return, finding the net. Two break-points follow but Nishikori gets caught out by Murray's curling second serve to take the game to 30-40. The Scot serves up another double-fault, though, and that's the game! Nishikori breaks Murray!
First set: Murray 1-3 Nishikori* (*denotes server):
 
Murray makes a hash of his return on the first point, sending his shot high into the sky. An another impressive rally follows but a venomous backhand comes out of nowhere from the Japanese, catching Murray out who fails to position himself in time to land the return. Two forehands into the net later and that's it. A quick game for Nishikori who has hit the ground running here.
First set: Murray* 2-3 Nishikori (*denotes server):
 
After taking the first point with ease, he's forced to really work for the second as Nishikori sends Murray running back and forth across the baseline with his thumping forehand. The Scot eventually finds the opportunity to pull off a sliced drop-shot which he executes to perfection. 30-0. He takes the next point too but the Japanese won't roll over. He rushes from his baseline after returning Murray's second serve and the world No 1 appears to panic, sending his shot straight into the net. The Scot eventually claims the game with a crisp forehand winner.
First set: Murray 2-4 Nishikori* (*denotes server):
 
The Japanese starts the game with menace, impressing with the variety of his strokes. His backhand in particular is proving a bit too much to handle for Murray and Nishikori quickly pulls ahead to 30-0. An attempt at a backhand drop-shot fails to clear the net, though, and the Scot is back in it. A mishit forehand follows to make it 30-30 but Nishikori has the audacity to attempt a second sliced drop-shot which, fortunately, he lands. He finishes off the game with a whizzing forehand winner down the line.
First set: Murray* 2-5 Nishikori (*denotes server):
 
Two forehand winners apiece and it's 15-15. Murray is losing his nerve though as he fires what should have been a simple shot wide of the court. Nishikori ups the ferocity of his forehand shots before rushing to the net. Reaching in desperation, Murray manages to return one of his opponent's shots but the Japanese finishes him off seconds later. An explosive forehand follows and Murray is broken once again. Oh dear. He's really struggling here.
First set: Murray 2-6 Nishikori* (*denotes server):
 
Murray's poor start continues as he sends two successive backhand shots wide. 30-0. Nishikori moves to 40-0 with a fizzing forehand shot that Murray twists 360 to meet but he fails to fail the court. The Japanese finishes off the game, and set, with a delicious drop-shot. 
 
Nishikori wins the first set!
Second set: Murray* 2-6, 1-0 Nishikori (*denotes server):
 
Murray still looks uncomfortable out there as the Japanese twice hits back with his delicious forehand after falling a point behind. The Scot opts for the direct approach on the next point as he fires down a thumping serve that Nishikori fails to return. A rare mistake from the world No 8 then hands Murray the first game.
 
Second set: Murray 2-6, 1-1 Nishikori* (*denotes server):
 
A low-bouncing forehand catches Murray out on the first point before two unforced errors make it 40-0. His serve for the next is too much for the Scot who makes the return but leaves himself vulnerable to his opponent who takes no prisoners with his forehand winner to hold to love.
 
 
Second set: Murray* 2-6, 2-1 Nishikori (*denotes server):
 
Murray takes the first and second point with relative ease, his forehand doing the job. Another powerful serve down the T proves to be too much for Nishikori. A quick-fire rally follows, with the world No 8 once again rushing to the net to throw Murray off who slaps his return wide. An unforced Murray error takes the game to 40-30, before Nishikori smashes home a winner with an overhead volley from the net to make it deuce. Murray claims advantage but his opponent draws level. But, then, a real twist in the tale as the Scot is called over to the umpire for a time violation. He's given a dressing down for wasting time and isn't best pleased.
 
Clearly pumped, he takes it to advantage again with a fiery serve which Nishikori fails to return and finishes off the game with a fantastic forehand from the net. He lets out a massive roar as the crowd applauds. He needed that. 
Second set: Murray 2-6, 3-1 Nishikori* (*denotes server):
 
That last game seems to have rejuvenated Murray as he quickly moves to 30-15. Some fast running from the Scot enables him to reach and return a clever drop-shot from Nishikori who fails to land his over-head smash. The world No 8 follows this with another error and the game is Murray's! He's finally broken his opponent.
Second set: Murray* 2-6, 4-1 Nishikori (*denotes server):
 
A point apiece makes it 15-15 but Murray's momentum is cut short as he double-faults on his serve. More faults from both players follow and we're at deuce. Another double-fault from Murray and Nishikori has advantage. The Scot gets lucky as he clips the tape in the next point, with the ball bouncing up favourably for the Japanese who sends his backhand into the net. An over-hit forehand and that's the game! He's been far from perfect but he's ahead in this set and in a strong position.
Second set: Murray 2-6, 5-1 Nishikori* (*denotes server):
 
Is Nishikori the one losing his nerve now? After claiming the first point, two successive unforced errors hands Murray momentum. He eventually makes it 40-15 after forcing his opponent further and further wide with a series of angled forehand shots before the Japanese eventually drills it into the net. Murray lets slip the first break point but claims the second with a powerful baseline shot that Nishikori had opted to leave at the last second on the assumption it had been over-hit. It hadn't. A costly mistake. Murray breaks.
Second set: Murray* 2-6, 6-1 Nishikori (*denotes server):
 
Murray quickly moves to 40-15 but a weak forehand return lands wide of the court and Nishikori is back in it... or so he thought. Another careless shot into the net hands the world No 1 the game and the set. Has Murray broken his opponent's resolve. We'll have to see how the third set pans out.
 
Murray takes the second set!
Third set: Murray 2-6, 6-1, 0-1 Nishikori* (*denotes server):
 
Nishikori takes the first point with a delicious forehand winner that recalls to mind the sort of tennis he had so impressively displayed in the first set. Murray hits back with a commanding rally for the second, finishing off his opponent with an over-head smash from the net, but a series of powerful serves from the Japanese sets him up nicely to claim the game.
 

What time does it start?

The match will get under way around 3.00pm on Wednesday 7 June, assuming the quarter-final between Karolina Pliskova and Caroline Garcia runs on time.

Where can I watch it?

ITV 4 and Eurosport both offer coverage. Alternatively, follow our live blog on this very page.

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Murray has rediscovered his form in Paris (Getty)

How did they reach the quarters? 

Murray's route to quarter-finals:

First Round - def. Andrey Kuznetsov, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0.

Second Round - def. Martin Klizan, 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (3).

Third Round - def. Juan Martin del Potro (29), 7-6 (8), 7-5, 6-0.

Fourth Round - def. Karen Khachanov, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

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Murray celebrates victory over Khachanov (Getty)

Nishikori's route to last eight:

First Round - def. Thanasi Kokkinakis, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.

Second Round - def. Jeremy Chardy, 6-3, 6-0, 7-6 (5).

Third Round - def. Chung Hyeon, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 0-6, 6-4.

Fourth Round - def. Fernando Verdasco, 0-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.

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Nishikori beat Fernando Verdasco in the fourth round (Getty)

What have they been saying?

Murray on losing to Nishikori at last year's US Open:

"Obviously we played at the US Open and that was five sets, a match that got away from me a little bit, so I need to learn a bit from that.

"There's a good chance it's a long one. He returns well and he's very solid off both wings. He's always a tough guy to play against.

"I'm happy with where my game's at. Everything is going pretty well just now. I'm feeling good going into the middle part of the second week."

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Rain has forced a number of delays at this year's competition (Getty)

Surprisingly, Nishikori struggled to even recall the match:

"I don't even know if I won or lost. I won?"

"I think physically, I'm OK," he added. "It's not easy. Long matches. I'm a little bit sore, but I'm sure it's going to be okay. I have one day rest [on Tuesday].

"I'll try to be physically ready for a long, tough match."

"He's [Murray] a great player. A very smart tennis player.

What are the odds?

Murray to win: 1/4

Nishikori to win: 3/1

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