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French Open: Murray to play Wawrinka in semis, Djokovic and Serena through

Andy Murray overcame a sloppy start to set up a French Open semifinal against defending champion Stan Wawrinka, who also won on Wednesday. Elsewhere Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams made it to the last eight.

After heayy rain saw play abandoned on Monday and only two hours of play on Tuesday, organizers scheduled 12 singles matches -- instead of just four quarter-finals as is the norm -- on day 11 of the Roland Garros event.

Murray, the number 2 seed, looked in some trouble early on after losing the first set despite taking a 5-2 lead. He let a similar lead slip in the second set before winning the tie break. After that, he found his form, winning the last two sets comfortably for a win against home favorite Richard Gasquet, with a final score of 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 6-2.

He will play 3rd seed Wawrinka who enjoyed a comfortable 6-2 6-1 7-6 win over Spain's Albert Ramos Vinolas on Wednesday. The Swiss player wasted no time in claiming Murray was the favorite.

“I think he's been an amazing player for many, many years,” Wawrinka said of Murray. “He always tries to ... be a better player. The way he's improved on clay is quite impressive.

"We've normally had some good battles in the past... But if you were to compare our two careers he's well ahead of me... He's in the big four (and) there is a reason for this."

French Open Tennis Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic made light of the rainy conditions with a yellow rain hat



Earlier in the day, world number 1 Novak Djokovic wasted little time wrapping up a 3-6 6-4 6-1 7-5 win over Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the fourth round. In the process, the Serbian became the first tennis player to bank $100 million in prize money.

After winning a match that was originally scheduled for Monday, began on Tuesday and was finally completed on Wednesday, the 29-year-old will have to play four days in succession if he is to reach Sunday's title showdown. This could be a significant advantage for the winner of Murray v Wawrinka, with their half of the draw enjoying a more comfortable schedule.

"I have the feeling I played three matches against him," Djokovic told the crowd after donning a yellow rain hat during his victory speech. "Yesterday the match was interrupted three times and it wasn't easy coming here at 9 am and leaving at 7.30 or 8:00 pm.

"So that's the reason why we should have the roof here (at Roland Garros). I'm hoping we're going to have it very soon."

Serena Williams French Open Tennis

Serena Williams cruised in to the quarterfinals on Wednesday



Djokovic will play 7th seed Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals on Thursday and the winner will meet either Belgium’s David Goffin or Austrian Domnic Thiem.

In the women’s draw, Williams made short work of Ukraine's Elina Svitolina, winning 6-1 6-1. She will play unseeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan in the last eight on Thursday.

In the other half of the draw, number 4 seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain has reached the French Open semifinals for the first time after beating American Shelby Rogers where she’ll play Australian Sam Stosur, who also won on Wednesday.

mp (AFP/REUTERS)