Wawrinka faces Murray in semifinals

PARIS:Second seed Andy Murray booked a French Open semifinal showdown with defending champion Stan Wawrinka on Wednesday after defeating ninth seed Richard Gasquet 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-0, 6-2.

ON THE BALL: Kiki Bertens entered her first Grand Slam quarterfinal by upsetting 15th-seeded Madison Keys at the French Open on Wednesday.- Photo: Julian Finney / Getty Images

Frenchman Gasquet reeled off five straight games to recover from 5-2 down and claim the opening set, but Murray won a second set tie-break before claiming 12 of the next 14 games. The World No. 2, through to his fourth semifinal in Paris, will bid to reach the Roland Garros final for the first time against Swiss third seed Wawrinka.

Wawrinka became the oldest man (31) since 1985 to reach the French Open semifinals with a 6-2, 6-1, 7-6(7) win over Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Jimmy Connors was 32 when he reached the last four in Paris in 1985.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic reached the French Open quarterfinals for the 10th time by beating Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut. Djokovic defeated 14th seeded Bautista Agut 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-5.

He will on Thursday take on Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych, who beat Spanish 11th seed David Ferrer 6-3, 7-5, 6-3. Austria’s Dominic Thiem advanced to his maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal with a 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-4 win over Spain’s Marcel Granollers.

In women’s section, Australian 21st seed Samantha Stosur reached the semifinals with a 6-4, 7-6(6) victory over Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria. Stosur matched her best run at a Grand Slam since reaching the last four in Paris in 2012.

Stosur will play Spanish fourth seed Garbine Muguruza for a place in the final with the latter getting the better of Shelby Rogers 7-5, 6-3.

Earlier, defending champion Serena Williams brushed off concerns about a busy playing schedule after powering into the quarterfinals defeating 18th seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-1, 6-1 in just over an hour.

Swiss eighth seed Timea Bacsinszky dumped out Venus 6-2, 6-4 to rule out the prospect of the two Williams siblings meeting in the semifinals.

Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal after defeating American 15th seed Madison Keys 7-6(4), 6-3. The World No. 58, conqueror of Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber in the first round, has now won 11 straight matches after arriving in Paris fresh from lifting the Nuremberg clay-court title as a qualifier.

Putintseva, 21, the youngest player left in the draw, extended her best run at a major with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Spanish 12th seed Carla Suarez Navarro.

Sania in quarterfinals

Sania Mirza’s entry into the mixed doubles quarterfinals was the only silver lining for India as both Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna lost their respective last eight encounters in the men’s doubles.

Second seeded Sania and her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig beat French pair of Alize Cornet and Jonathan Eysseric 6-7(6), 6-4, [10-8] in a closely-fought second round match.

In men’s doubles, India’s challenge ended as Bopanna and Romanian partner Florin Mergea, seeded sixth, lost 4-6, 4-6 to third seeds Dodig and Marcelo Melo of Brazil.

The 16th-seeded Paes and his Polish partner Marcin Matkowski also lost 7-6(12), 6-3 to fifth-seeded American pair of Mike and Bob Bryan.

In the junior girls’ category, Karman Kaur Thandi lost to Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine 6-3, 6-0 in the second round.