Andy Murray saw off Frenchman Gael Monfils in a five-contrasting-set quarter-final tie at the Philippe Chatrier to reach Friday’s semi-final.
The Wimbledon champion outlasted home-favourite Monfils 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 1-6, 6-0 to claim his first Roland Garros win over the 27-year-old in three tour meetings- 16 years after their first as eleven year olds.
The 23rd seed 2008 semifinalist fought back in the third and fourth sets, after Murray had registered 2-0 lead, to force the game into a decider.
But the rejuvenated seventh seed claimed the fifth, pummeling the exhausted Monfils into bits in just 24 minutes.
“It was very tough, me and Gael have known each other since we were 11 and I am very good friends with him, so it was very tough conditions to play against him,” Murray said.
“It was very windy at start. I started well and when the wind slowed he was very good and very aggressive. In the end I was just glad he started the fifth set badly.”
The Briton will face record eight-time champion and favourite Rafael Nadal in the last-four, after the defending champion came back from a set down to beat compatriot David Ferrer 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
“I was doing things better in the third and fourth sets,” Nadal says on his four sets win over Ferrer. “I was able to relax more then.
“Andy Murray was a threat to win the tournament for me at the beginning. He is very good on every surface.”
Nadal, 28, holds an overwhelming 0-5 win record over Murray on clay, but Murray hopes to take a day off and get a go at it again.
“He has good memories on this court so it will be very, very tough but I will rest up and be ready,” added Murray on Friday’s tie with the 12-time Grand Slam champion.