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Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal to meet in French Open final


Spain's Rafael Nadal (left) shakes hands with Austria's Dominic Thiem after their semi-final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. Nadal won 6-3, 6-4, 6-0. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
From Eleanor Crooks in Paris

ANDY Murray was proud of his French Open efforts after falling just short against Stan Wawrinka in a brutal semi-final battle.

Murray ended Wawrinka's reign as champion in the semi-finals 12 months ago but could not engineer a repeat as the Swiss triumphed 6-7 (6/8) 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7/3) 6-1 after four hours and 34 minutes.

It was a rollercoaster of a match, with Murray second best for most of the first three sets but somehow emerging two sets to one in front.

He then looked in control of the fourth but it was Wawrinka who dominated the tie-break and by the decider Murray had nothing left.

Wawrinka, who has won all his previous three grand slams finals, will face Rafael Nadal on Sunday.

Having arrived in Paris with only four wins since February and unsure even whether he would survive one match, Murray could not be too unhappy with his loss.

He said: "I'm proud of the tournament I had. I did well considering. I was one tie-break away from getting to the final when I came in really struggling. So I have to be proud of that.

"Maybe the lack of matches hurt me a little bit in the end today. That was a very high-intensity match. A lot of long points.

"When you haven't been playing loads, four-and-a-half hours, that can catch up to you a little bit. So I only have myself to blame for that, for the way I played coming into the tournament.

"But I turned my form around really, really well and ended up having a good tournament, all things considered."

Rafael Nadal is one win away from an unprecedented 10th title at the French Open after dominating his semi-final against Dominic Thiem.

Thiem went into the match fresh from his stunning upset of defending champion Novak Djokovic and looking for a second successive win against Nadal.

But Philippe Chatrier is the Spaniard's stage and Thiem found Nadal a very different opponent to the one he met at the Italian Open in Rome last month.

Nadal was simply far too good and heads into Sunday's final against Stan Wawrinka having not dropped a set in the tournament after a 6-3 6-4 6-0 victory.

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