French Open 2016: Murray and Muguruza reach semis as top half lags behind

The bottom halves of the draws completed their quarterfinals today, whereas the top halves finished their fourth round matches

French Open 2016: Murray and Muguruza reach semis as top half lags behind
Murray came through a first set lapse to finish strongly. (Photo: The Guardian)

The second Wednesday at the French Open saw the rain finally stay away, with every scheduled match completed for the first time since Saturday. The numerous rain delays have left the tournament's schedule in tatters, and Wednesday saw things starting to get back on track.

Murray into last four, Djokovic into last eight

The men's schedule had an odd look to it, with the top half of the draw playing their fourth round matches and the bottom haf already preparing for their semi-finals.

Andy Murray was a four-set victor over last remaining Frenchman Richard Gasquet, overcoming a first set lapse that saw Gasquet win the last five games to earn what was in the end a comfortable victory. Despite success at the net, where he won 33 of his 47 points, and breaking Murray three times, Gasquet seemed unable to deal with the pressure of playing in his first quarterfinal at his home Grand Slam. By the third set, the world number two was in complete control, and advanced to another Roland Garros semifinal.

Facing the Scot in that match will be defending champion Stan Wawrinka, who despite having a poor year so far has looked increasingly strong in Paris. Another straight-sets win, this time over Albert Ramos-Vinolas, underlined Wawrinka's form, and his semi-final with Murray looks to be a mouthwatering clash. As ever, power was the key to Wawrinka's win, the Swiss hitting 49 winners and eight aces.

The rest of the men playing yesterday remained stuck in round four, Novak Djokovic being the biggest name to progress. The world number one had been in trouble in his match with Roberto Bautista Agut on Tuesday, having lost the first set, but took control once the match restarted, asserting his authority in what was in the end a straight-forward win. The Serb will be hoping for a quick win in today's quarter-final to conserve energy ahead of likely needing to play on four consecutive days.

Other players to progress to the last eight on Wednesday were Tomas Berdych, who defeated Spanish veteran David Ferrer, Dominic Theim and David Goffin.

Djokovic is desperate to win his first Roland Garros title. (Photo: Bleacher Report)

Muguruza and Serena on form, Stosur continues run

It was a similar story on the women's side of the draw, with four fourth round matches and two quarter-finals played.

Heading into the semi-finals is Garbine Muguruza. Last year's Wimbledon finalist has looked in excellent form throughout the fortnight and, with a past win over Serena Williams at this tournament, looks to be one of the favourites for the title. She continued her march through the draw with another straight sets win, this one over Shelby Rogers. The fourth seed hit 21 winners and won 13 of 14 points at the net on her way to another impressive victory.

Her opponent in the last four will be Sam Stosur, after a surprisingly deep run by the veteran Australian. The 2011 US Open champion was a two-set victor over Tsvetana Pironkova, and looks to be rolling back the years as she reaches her first major semi-final since doing so in Paris in 2012. Stosur is into her fourth semi-final here, and should not be underestimated in the final rounds.

Serena Williams wasted no time in reaching the quarter-finals, with an easy 6-1 6-1 win over Elina Svitolina. This was a dominant performance from the defending champion, as she won 69% of point on returns - Svitolina only held her serve once during the match. The world number one will be feeling confident of defending her title - should she do so, she will complete a fourth Career Grand Slam.

Other names to progress to the quarter-finals on Wednesday were Timea Bascinszky, who defeated Venus Williams, Kiki Bertens, who defeated Madison Keys, and Yulia Putintseva, with a win over Carla Suarez Navarro.

All results

[1] Novak Djokovic d. [14] Roberto Bautista Agut, 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-0, 6-2
[2] Andy Murray d. [9] Richard Gasquet, 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-0, 6-2
[3] Stan Wawrinka d. Albert Ramos-Vinolas, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6(7)
[7] Tomas Berdych d. [11] David Ferrer, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3
[12] David Goffin d. Ernests Gulbis, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3
[13] Dominic Thiem d. Marcel Granollers, 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-4

[1] Serena Williams d. [18] Elina Svitolina, 6-1, 6-1
[4] Garbine Muguruza d. Shelby Rogers, 7-5, 6-3
[8] Timea Bacsinszky d. [9] Venus Williams, 6-2, 6-4
Yulia Putintseva d. [12] Carla Suarez Navarro, 7-5, 7-5
Kiki Bertens d. [15] Madison Keys, 7-6(4), 6-3
[21] Samantha Stosur d. Tsvetana Pironkova, 6-4, 7-6(6)