Murray: ‘I believe I can win the event’On day eleven of the 2016 French Open, as the rain held off at Roland-Garros Richard Gasquet created two sets of Philippe-Chatrier havoc for Andy Murray but could do no more.Murray gave Gasquet the break for 6-5 and a chance to serve out the set. Murray’s last lost to a Frenchman here happened ten years before. Those first two sets took two hours and 16 minutes, but anyone who imagined the match was finely poised had it all wrong. Murray stamped his authority all over the third set. Murray hit that cross-court to 3-3 in the 2nd set tiebreak. From there on Murray gained confidence and Gasquet lost hope, and Andy advances to the final four for a third successive year.Murray’s mental strength is what separates him from almost everyone else. And this time Murray also had a mental hold over Gasquet as Richard have lost to Murray twice from two sets up, at Wimbledon in 2008 and here at Roland-Garros in 2010.The No.2 seed took the win 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-0, 6-2 and will face defending champion Stan Wawrinka for a place in the final.After grinding out victory over Gasquet, Murray sayed:”My drop shot strategy was working at the beginning and then… played too many,” confessed Murray.https://twitter.com/rolandgarros/status/738021985846845440“In the end, physically he was struggling. I think I played some really good stuff – I do think I played well. It’s been a tough few days for everyone, but especially players in the other half. But you have to be selfish – look at your own matches and do your best to get through them. I believe I can win the event. Whether I do or not… we’ll have to wait and see.”“I wasn’t getting loads of success sort of towards the end of the (first two) sets. But I don’t know if, in the long run, that made it tougher physically because he was having to run for a lot of them.”https://twitter.com/rolandgarros/status/738059152166146049Murray and Wawrinka, who beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain, 6-1, 6-2, 7-6, will now have a day off while world No.1 Novak Djokovic has to play his quarter-final against Tomas Berdych, who crushed David Ferrer in straight sets.The Serb, trying to win the title for the first time, did not seem too concerned and Murray said he had not given the luck of the draw much thought.“Obviously the weather has been challenging the last few days for everyone involved and especially the players in the top half it’s been tricky, for sure,” Murray said.“But you have got to just try and concentrate on yourself. Right now tennis players during these events have to be selfish and look at their own matches and try their best to get through them.”It is the fourth French Open semi-final of his career and his 19th career grand slam semi-final, a remarkable record which puts him joint-eighth in the all-time list.
Murray is the best clay player over the last 52 weeks
Andy Murray has the most success on clay during the past 52 weeks, with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic close behind.
For the first 10 years of his career, Andy Murray won close to 70 per cent of his matches on clay, posting an 88-39 record (.693). But last year and so far in the 2016 ATP World Tour season, the World No. 2 has gone 29-3 (.906) on the red dirt.
The Brit’s incredible improvement on the surface places him at the top of the clay-court FedEx ATP Win-Loss Index over the past 52 weeks. Murray has amassed an 18-3 record (.850) during that stretch, including last week’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia title (d. Djokovic).
“I think I’m definitely moving better. It makes a huge difference,” said Murray, who also reached the Mutua Madrid Open final. “For a number years I didn’t move well on the clay… I believe I can play well on clay now.
“Moving better has sort of changed my mentality when I go on the court a lot. I don’t feel like I’m off-balance anymore, and I feel like I can chase most balls down. And it’s an easy surface for me to move on now.
“After I won a clay-court [ATP World Tour] Masters 1000 [title] last year, I certainly didn’t think I’d be doing that multiple times over. Over the past couple of years, clay has probably been my most successful surface, which I never expected to be the case.”
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