World number one Andy Murray shrugged off a sluggish start to reach his fifth French Open semi-final with a 2-6 6-1 7-6(0) 6-1 defeat of Japan’s Kei Nishikori on Wednesday.
Briton Murray dropped serve twice in the opening set as the gremlins that have dogged his season briefly returned, but he was generally in charge after that against the eighth seed.
Nishikori, who beat Murray in the quarter-finals of last year’s U.S. Open, could not sustain his early form and although he courageously forced a third-set tiebreak he lost that 7-0.
The 30-year-old Murray arrived at Roland Garros with genuine concerns over his form after a mediocre claycourt swing, but with coach Ivan Lendl watching over his shoulder he has rediscovered the winning mentality just in time.
He might need another level, however, against Swiss former champion Wawrinka, who annihilated Marin Cilic 6-3 6-3 6-1.
The body language of Nishikori, who has never reached the last four of the French, hardly looked promising after that and Murray marched on to his 21st grand slam semi-final.