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Andy Murray beaten by Stan Wawrinka in French Open semi-finals

Andy Murray's French Open hopes ended with a five-set defeat by Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals.

The world number one was beaten 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 in four hours and 34 minutes.

It was a repeat of last year's semi-final, which the Briton won before going on to lose the final to Novak Djokovic.

Former champion Wawrinka faces Rafael Nadal or Dominic Thiem in Sunday's final.

At 32 years and 75 days, Wawrinka is the oldest finalist at Roland Garros since Nikola Pilic in 1973.

"It was not like I was far away from winning the match," said Murray.

"I was close to finishing it in the fourth set. There are a few things that I for sure feel I could do better, I would have liked to have done a bit differently."

Wawrinka winners too much for Murray

Murray was bidding to reach his 12th Grand Slam final

Wawrinka will get the chance to add a second Roland Garros title to his 2015 victory, and move ahead of Murray with four Grand Slam titles, after his shot-making won the day.

The Swiss hit 87 winners - 45 on the forehand side - as he finally overcame the determination and defensive skills of Murray.

Short on matches after a season interrupted by illness and injury, Murray got within four points of victory but ultimately ran out of gas as Wawrinka made him cover a punishing 4.5km over more than four hours.

 

Physically I didn't feel my best at the end

Andy Murray

Wawrinka had chances to win both the first and third sets as well, only for Murray to clinch a gripping opening tie-break after two superb lobs in the same rally.

The Swiss went on a run of seven games in a row to take the second and move 3-0 up in the third, as he pulled the Scot from side to side before firing winners into the spaces down each line.

It took a magnificent response from Murray, twice a break down, to edge the third set as he harried and chased into the far reaches of Philippe Chatrier Court.

When Wawrinka dumped a volley into the net to fall two sets to one behind, having lost three points when Murray sent smashes flying back to him, the Swiss looked understandably bewildered.

Fitness takes its toll on Murray

The fourth set came down to another tie-break as neither man could fashion a break point, and a misjudged drop shot from Murray proved crucial as Wawrinka took the last three points in a row.

The prospect of a fifth-set decider had the Chatrier crowd on their feet but Wawrinka made sure it was no contest, opening up with another forehand winner down the line as he raced 5-0 clear.

Murray managed one final rearguard with a break of serve, before Wawrinka ripped his 21st backhand winner of the afternoon down the line to secure victory.

"Physically I didn't feel my best at the end," said Murray. "It is more like I didn't have enough weight on my shot at the end to put him under any real pressure.

"A lot of the points he was dictating from the middle of the court, and I was retrieving and allowing him to pretty much hit the shots that he wants.

"And against a shot-maker, someone who hits the ball as big as him, that's obviously not ideal."

Murray only managed 36 winners, as opposed to Wawrinka's 87

Analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller at Roland Garros

Resilience and bloody-mindedness allowed Murray to win a third set of rapidly changing emotions, and it was the world number one who made most of the running in the early stages of the fourth.

Murray's defence was remarkable for most of the match, but at this crucial stage it was Wawrinka who deserved enormous credit for riding out the storm, winning a tie-break and then playing an exceptional fifth set.

While the Swiss was still able to hit the ball with enormous power in the decider, the zip had gone out of Murray's strokes and legs as a lack of matches in the months leading up to Roland Garros took effect.

It hurts when you are just a tie-break from the final, but this has been a very profitable French Open for Murray. Five wins and 18 hours on the match court should prove excellent preparation for Wimbledon.