David Ferrer ends Murray’s quest for first grand slam


Andy Murray’s French Open hopes hit ‘The Wall’ as he suffered a 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-2 defeat to David Ferrer in the quarter-finals.

The Spaniard maintained his perfect record against the fourth seed on clay to reach the last four for the first time at Roland Garros – his reward is a showdown with compatriot Rafael Nadal.

For the third time in the tournament this year Murray dropped the opening set, though he responded impressively in the second to level matters.

However, just as he was seemingly getting into his stride, the rain arrived to halt his momentum. After returning to Court Suzanne Lenglen he failed to hit the same heights, allowing the relentless Ferrer to assume control.

Crucially, after breaking serve five times in the match Murray would give it straight back on every occasion, something that he simply couldn’t afford to do against an opponent nicknamed ‘The Wall’ for his non-stop style of play.

The back injury that has bothered him throughout in Paris didn’t aid him, there were several grimaces throughout the match, though neither did the fact he wasted break points in the third and seventh games of the opening set.

A further two went begging when he trailed 5-3, allowing Ferrer to serve out for a 1-0 lead.

Murray’s response was to break immediately at the start of the second and although he quickly lost that advantage, he stood firm to force a tie-break and then stepped up his game just at the right time, winning five points in a row from 1-0 down to eventually take it 7-3.

The world number four then held serve in the opening game of the third set but the rain became heavier at the wrong time as far as he was concerned, forcing the players from the court for around 20 minutes.

From then on Ferrer was the one in control. He broke three times on his way to taking the third set, while it was groundhog day at the start of the fourth as Murray played a terrific defensive point to break only to surrender his serve immediately for the fifth time, sending a forehand just wide.

He had two chances to move ahead again but could not take either, and the end looked nigh when he lost a third successive game with another wayward forehand.

Murray had two more break points in the seventh game but couldn’t capitalise, ending his run of reaching at least the last four at five consecutive grand slams. It also means the wait for a British winner at a major goes on, with Wimbledon his next attempt to end 76 years of hurt.