Stan Wawrinka turns on the style to beat Andy Murray in five-set thriller
Stan Wawrinka v Andy Murray 6-7 6-3 5-7 7-6 6-1

Stan Wawrinka turns on the style to beat Andy Murray in five-set thriller

Stanislas Wawrinka produced some of the best tennis of his career to blow Andy Murray away in the fifth and final set of his 6-7 6-3 5-7 7-6 6-1 win and reach the final of the French Open.

The topsy-turvy semi-final on Philippe Chatrier saw both players wow the crowd with a brilliantly high standard of tennis in the opening four sets.

But Wawrinka saved his best for last, producing arguably the highest-calibre half-an-hour of his career to blow away a helpless Murray in the fifth set.

To Murray's credit he was subjected to a more than four-hour barrage by third seed Wawrinka who threw the kitchen sink at his fellow three-times grand slam champion, and only in the fifth set when his legs began to buckle did he crumble.

"I lost my way a little bit in that period," Murray said of the seven-game run that gave Wawrinka renewed vigour.

"Over four hours, four-and-a-half hours, there are going to be periods in the match where you're not hitting the ball as well and your opponent is going to be playing well.

"And you need to try and ride out the storm a little bit. I didn't do that, that period of the match, for whatever reason."

The Swiss 2015 champion hit a staggering 87 winners as he avenged last year's semi-final defeat.

Murray absorbed everything Wawrinka threw at him for most of the four hour and 34 minute match but after winning a tense fourth set Wawrinka steamed ahead in the decider as Murray's armour was finally pierced.

Third seed Wawrinka, who had not dropped a set on the way to the semis, wavered slightly when dropping serve at 5-0, but broke straight back to claim victory with a trademark flashing backhand

The win sets Wawrinka up for a tilt at his second French Open title in three years. The Swiss 32-year-old will face the winner of Friday’s second semi-final, Rafael Nadal.

Murray said he will move on to the grasscourt season in good heart, despite missing out on a 12th grand slam final.

"I'm proud of the tournament I had. I did well considering. I was one tiebreak away from getting to the final when I came in really struggling. So I have to be proud of that," he said.

"Maybe the lack of matches hurt me a little bit in the end today. That was a very high intensity match. A lot of long points. When you haven't been playing loads, over four, four-and-a-half hours, that can catch up a little bit."

Murray got within four points of victory in the fourth set but a misjudged dropshot helped Wawrinka grab the tiebreak and at the same time break Murray's resistance.

"Physically I didn't feel my best at the end. It is more like I didn't have enough weight on my shot at the end of the match to put him under any real pressure," said Murray, who covered 4.5km in heart-pumping sprints throughout the encounter.

He will now focus on trying to defend his Wimbledon title and the number one ranking in the second part of the season.

"I do feel like having an event like this can give me a boost, and hopefully have a strong grasscourt season and try to understand what worked well this event and what worked well in the sort of 10 days in the build-up," he explained.

"Hopefully I finish the year strong."

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