Andy Murray v Stan Wawrinka - player profiles

Solenn Plantier
Juin 10, 2017

Nadal reached a 10th final at his favorite tournament - he's 9-0 so far - by overwhelming No. 6 Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in barely 2 hours. Then Wawrinka used a seven-game run to take the second set, plus a 3-0 lead in the third.

Former French Open champion Stan Wawrinka demolished Croatian Marin Cilic 6-3 6-3 6-1 on Wednesday and is now eager to gain revenge on Andy Murray after setting up a re-match of last year's semi-final.

"I lost my way a little bit", Murray said.

6-1 score and the manner of the defeat fittingly reflected how inconsistently Nishikori had been playing.

Having arrived in Paris with only four wins since February and unsure even whether he would survive one match, Murray could not be too unhappy with his loss. Before that, he bowed out in the third round at both Monte Carlo and Madrid.

Hardly the sort of record befitting someone ranked No. 1 thanks to quite a string of successes a year ago, including a Wimbledon championship, an unprecedented second consecutive Olympic gold medal and runner-up finishes at the Australian Open and French Open.

Particularly impressive was Murray's ability not just to return Wawrinka's smashes but to hit winning shots off them.

"It puts him in a good position heading into the grass-court season". Stan, this tournament, has played great.

"When you have a lot of wins behind you and confidence with your game, you can go for more".

Spain's Rafael Nadal plays a shot against Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta during their quarterfinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France.

This pits a pair of players with three Grand Slam titles apiece.

Standing in Murray's way is the man he beat in last year's semifinal, Wawrinka. Hopefully, I can take advantage of that and find solutions to beat him. I picked Stan to make the final, and I'm going to stick with him, though Murray's play over the past few days has made me think long and hard about this one. He's a bit more hesitant.

No man has ever beaten Djokovic and Nadal back-to-back and won a grand slam. And after a trying 2016, Nadal has been up to his old tricks, especially on clay.

"He is recovered, mentally and physically", said Nadal's uncle Toni, who is coaching him along with 1998 French Open champion Carlos Moya.

Nadal has dropped only 22 games through five matches, his lowest total on the way to the semifinals at any major, getting to every ball and whipping that heavy-topspin forehand.

"I'm extremely confident about what I do, about how I feel, about all the hard work I have accomplished over the past days, weeks, months, years", said Wawrinka, victor of a career-best 10 consecutive matches. "I will concede some winners".

Murray is not playing as aggressively as he was previous year and could do with ramping up his serve and his forehand another couple of notches.

Unlike Nadal's straightforward sprint past Thiem, Wawrinka's marathon against Murray wound its way through spots in which one player, then the other, appeared to wrest control, then cede it.

The No. 3-seeded Wawrinka, a 32-year-old from Switzerland, reached the fourth Grand Slam final of his career. "He's got a really good chance".

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