Jacob Steinberg

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Name: Jacob Steinberg
Date registered: September 27, 2014
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/football/chelsea

Latest posts

  1. Andy Murray beats Benoît Paire: Wimbledon 2017, fourth round – as it happened — July 10, 2017
  2. Wimbledon 2017: Nadal into fifth set with Müller, Federer beats Dimitrov – live! — July 10, 2017
  3. Wimbledon 2017 day six: Federer, Djokovic, Kerber and Muguruza through – as it happened — July 8, 2017
  4. Johanna Konta’s career-best Wimbledon run continues with Sakkari win — July 7, 2017
  5. Wimbledon men’s form guide: the players to watch in SW19 | Jacob Steinberg — July 2, 2017

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Jul 10

Andy Murray beats Benoît Paire: Wimbledon 2017, fourth round – as it happened

Andy Murray reached his 10th consecutive Wimbledon quarter-final and will play Sam Querrey after a scrappy 7-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Benoit Paire

5.19pm BST

Related: Andy Murray hobbles to 10th straight Wimbledon quarter-final with Paire win

5.04pm BST

Andy Murray’s quarter-final opponent will be Sam Querrey, the 24th-seeded American who stunned Novak Djokovic last year. Querrey won 5-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-7 (11), 6-3 against Kevin Anderson, who saved four match points in the tie-break. Murray beat Querrey easily at the Australian Open earlier this year, but playing the big server should be a big test of his fitness – and a different one after matches against four mavericks. That’s all from me here, though. Thanks for reading. Bye!

5.02pm BST

Andy Murray speaks. “I thought I played well today. Maybe a couple of sloppy service games in the first set. He’s not an easy guy to play. He’s got one of the best backhands. Tactics aren’t easy against him. Two weeks ago I was resting, so I was little bit concerned. When you’re having issues a few days before a big event it’s a bit worrying. I managed it well, I’m playing some good stuff. I’m doing well.”

4.54pm BST

Serving for the match, Murray begins as he means to go on, smacking an ace down the middle for 15-0. Then he tries to serve and volley, only to dump a volley into the net for 15-all. A lengthy rally ensues. Paire inevitably nets a forehand for 30-15 and Murray earns two match points with a backhand winner down the line. It doesn’t take much for Paire to knock a forehand long. Murray’s into his 10th consecutive Wimbledon quarter-final, but he’s had to work very hard to get here.

4.49pm BST

Third set: Murray 7-6, 6-4, 5-4 Paire* (*denotes server): At 0-15, Murray thinks he’s found the spot with a backhand pass. Alas, it’s wide and he only has one challenge remaining. Paire should be home and hosed after an ace makes it 40-15. But a double-fault makes it deuce. Soon Murray has a break point – and Paire nets a forehand! Murray will serve for the match.

4.45pm BST

Third set: Murray* 7-6, 6-4, 4-4 Paire (*denotes server): The game goes to 30-all after an errant Murray forehand. There’s danger here. The game goes to deuce after Murray nets a backhand and Paire earns a break point when Murray nets a backhand slice. Murray wakes up and saves it with a barrelling forehand for deuce. Eventually Murray holds, because Paire misses.

4.38pm BST

Third set: Murray 7-6, 6-4, 3-4 Paire* (*denotes server): Paire holds to easily. He’s surprised with me how much he’s fought since the first set.

4.35pm BST

Third set: Murray* 7-6, 6-4, 3-3 Paire (*denotes server): Sam Querrey had four match points over on Court 18, but Kevin Anderson forced a fifth set. Murray will be pleased. He plays the winner – assuming he gets over the line here. He holds to love in this game.

4.32pm BST

Third set: Murray 7-6, 6-4, 2-3 Paire* (*denotes server): Paire serves quite brilliantly to save three straight break points. Murray can’t believe this guy won’t quit. He earns another break point, hitting his forehand well and smashing, but Paire denies him again and eventually holds with a backhand down the line.

4.27pm BST

Third set: Murray* 7-6, 6-4, 2-2 Paire (*denotes server): Paire makes three forehand errors. Murray accepts the donations and holds to love.

4.23pm BST

Third set: Murray 7-6, 6-4, 1-2 Paire* (*denotes server): The game starts on a strange challenge, the umpire refusing Murray a challenge on a serve despite seeming to acknowledge it at first. How odd. Murray’s furious. Paire holds to 15 and Murray engages in debate with the umpire. “You said challenge because you heard me say challenge. No, no, no.”

4.20pm BST

Third set: Murray* 7-6, 6-4, 1-1 Paire (*denotes server): Murray’s two sets up, but I don’t think he deserves to be. It’s largely to do with Paire’s unreliability. This isn’t Murray at his best. He doesn’t look physically comfortable. His side-to-side movement doesn’t convince. He holds to love here, though.

4.18pm BST

Third set: Murray 7-6, 6-4, 0-1 Paire* (*denotes server): Paire begins the set with a hold to love.

4.12pm BST

Serving for the second set, Murray’s down 0-15 after fine volleying from Paire, who makes it 0-30 with a backhand pass, Murray a sitting duck at the net. Soon Paire has two break points after wrongfooting Murray with a forehand. There’s not much on Murray’s serve here and his movement’s unconvincing. But he saves both break points. Paire misses a forehand, Murray nails a smash for deuce. Then Murray makes another error. “Fdkdnkdn,” he says, or something to that effect. He saves the break point fantastically, whipping a forehand down the line, but he’s facing another after pulling a forehand long. But Paire’s kicking himself after stopping a rally mid-point, thinking a backhand’s long. Hawkeye shows it was on the line and Murray finally earns a set point when Paire nets a backhand. It doesn’t take long for Paire to send a backhand long. Somehow Murray leads by two sets. But … hmmm.

4.03pm BST

Second set: Murray 7-6, 5-4 Paire* (*denotes server): Murray ups his aggression at a good time, ramming a backhand from left to right for 0-30. Then he scampers on to a drop volley, which seems like it will be enough, and scoops a backhand cross-court, Paire unable to work his racket around the ball, and Murray has three break points. Murray hangs in there on the next point. Paire should win it when Murray blocks a ball invitingly into the air. Instead he punches a volley wide. Oh dear. Murray will serve for a two-set lead. Paire is feeling his knee. He’ll see the trainer soon, I expect.

3.59pm BST

Second set: Murray* 7-6, 4-4 Paire (*denotes server): Murray’s under threat when an accomplished volley from Paire makes it 0-15. Paire does him a few favours, however, and Murray holds to 15.

3.54pm BST

Second set: Murray 7-6, 3-4 Paire* (*denotes server): It’s Paire’s turn to chunter at himself after a poor forehand makes it 0-15. “I can’t do anything with my forehand,” he says in French. Then he’s not happy when he’s refused a challenge of a Murray forehand, the umpire deciding he’d played the shot and then called for Hawkeye. He’s even less amused when an errant shot makes it 15-40. Murray’s furious with himself after netting a backhand return off a second serve, though, and even more irritated when Paire saves the second break point with a volley. This is all very tetchy. Calm down, lads, it’s just a game. I wouldn’t say that to Murray’s face after Paire holds, though.

3.50pm BST

Second set: Murray* 7-6, 3-3 Paire (*denotes server): Murray quickly finds himself down 0-30. His level’s dipped. Indecisiveness has seeped back into his game. A wretched forehand, wide and long, makes it 15-40. Murray decides to hit himself as punishment. Not that it achieves anything. He slices and approaches the net. Paire passes him with a forehand. That was no good at all.

3.45pm BST

Second set: Murray 7-6, 3-2 Paire* (*denotes server): Paire might yet pay for that wretched opening service game in this set, but he has at least started to compete again. A hold to love keeps Murray honest.

3.43pm BST

Second set: Murray* 7-6, 3-1 Paire (*denotes server): The winner of this match will play the winner of the duel taking place on Court 18 at the moment. Sam Querrey, the 24th seed, leads 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 against his fellow big server, Kevin Anderson. I’m surprised to see just the one tie-break. Back on Centre, Paire’s waking up again, hitting his backhand well to lead 15-30 here. Murray is determined not to offer any encouragement. He spins a drop shot away for 30-all; anything you can do, Benoit. Then an ace makes it 40-30. He polishes it off with a rasping forehand winner.

3.38pm BST

Second set: Murray 7-6, 2-1 Paire* (*denotes server): Paire makes himself feel a bit better when a slice clips the net and turns into a drop shot winner for 30-0. He apologises but secretly he’s delighted at the drop shot, so naturally he attempts one on the next point and sends it wide for 30-15. The game goes to deuce after Paire’s Becker-esque diving goes long, but the Frenchman gets on the scoreboard in set two with a couple of aces.

3.34pm BST

Second set: Murray* 7-6, 2-0 Paire (*denotes server): Murray consolidates the break, easily holding to 15. There’s a sense of sleepy satisfaction on Centre Court now, as though everyone’s relaxing and sitting back after a mighty fine lunch.

3.31pm BST

Second set: Murray 7-6, 1-0 Paire* (*denotes server): It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Paire capitulates in this set. He’ll be furious not to be a set up after producing so much absurd magic, only to fold in the tie-break. And he’s it’s not long before he’s facing three break points. Murray doesn’t have to do much other than wait for an unfocused Paire to pull a forehand wide.

3.27pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 7-1 Paire (*denotes server): Paire knocks a forehand long at the end of an even rally. What a strange set.

3.26pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 6-1 Paire* (*denotes server): Paire saves the first with a big backhand down the line.

3.25pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 6-0 Paire* (*denotes server): Paire nets a forehand. Six set points for Murray. This is one of the worst tie-break efforts I’ve ever seen.

3.25pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 5-0 Paire (*denotes server): Paire sends a backhand return long.

3.24pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 4-0 Paire (*denotes server): Paire sends a backhand long.

3.24pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 3-0 Paire* (*denotes server): Paire wallops a backhand well wide. He had so much time. He drops his racket in frustration.

3.23pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 2-0 Paire* (*denotes server): Paire double-faults for the sixth time, then lets out an anguished cry.

3.23pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 1-0 Paire (*denotes server): Murray wrongfoots Paire with a forehand after a good serve.

3.22pm BST

First set: Murray 6-6 Paire* (*denotes server): Serving to stay in the set for a second time, Paire begins with a double-fault, challenging without success. Down 0-15, he tries a drop shot, because he’s Paire. Murray flicks a forehand past him, Paire diving and flinging his racket after the ball. Down 0-30, Paire goes for a drop volley. Murray knocks a backhand wide. So Paire does another drop volley. Murray’s on to it now. He spears a forehand down the line for two set points. Paire saves the first with a backhand into the right corner, though, then spins a backhand drop shot over the net, Murray unable to quite do enough with a forehand. Paire holds. Tie-break.

3.17pm BST

First set: Murray* 6-5 Paire (*denotes server): Murray rattles through easy points to lead 40-0. “Another one of those please!” trills a comedian in the stands to delighted laughs. Murray obliges to hold, earning himself a tie-break at the very least, and possibly so much more.

3.14pm BST

First set: Murray 5-5 Paire* (*denotes server): After all his early dominance, Paire’s serving to stay in the first set. He aces to make it 40-15. Two forehand errors take the game to deuce, but Murray’s not quite got a read on Paire’s serve yet. Paire swings an ace down the middle to hold.

3.09pm BST

First set: Murray* 5-4 Paire (*denotes server): The crowd senses that Murray needs a bit more support, so naturally Paire’s errors are being applauded more vigorously now. Murray holds to 15 with a huge ace down the middle.

3.07pm BST

First set: Murray 4-4 Paire* (*denotes server): The game goes to 15-all after Paire’s one millionth drop shot of the match lands him in trouble. Then he double-faults. He sure trusts in his material, even though a drop shot hits the net and takes the game to deuce. Murray’s alert to the possibilities here, earning a break point when he works Paire’s forehand and draws the error. Murray can’t take it, netting a forehand, but he has another when Paire butchers a forehand volley, almost sending it into the Royal Box. The errors are arriving now. Paire nets a forehand and they’re back on level terms. This is a bizarre match.

3.00pm BST

First set: Murray* 3-4 Paire (*denotes server): Murray finally seems to have some comfort on serve, powering to 30-0, then 40-15. Paire makes it 40-30 with a lovely backhand return, though, and it’s deuce after Murray nets a forehand. Eventually Murray holds. He’ll feel a bit better, but he’s still not entirely comfortable.

2.55pm BST

First set: Murray 2-4 Paire* (*denotes server): The mood is muted on Centre Court. Paire holds to 14 to consolidate the break this time.

2.54pm BST

First set: Murray* 2-3 Paire (*denotes server): “Legs! Legs! Backwards movement!” cries Murray after two tame shots into the net make it 0-30. Given encouragement by Murray’s low level here, Paire reaches into his box of tricks at the net again and earns three break points. Murray saves the first two with big serves. Paire loops a clever forehand down the line, though, and a very stiff Murray’s ranting after being broken again.

2.48pm BST

First set: Murray 2-2 Paire* (*denotes server): Looking to consolidate the break, Paire drop shots. Murray gets there. Paire lobs him. Murray peels back and sees his forehand drop wide after clipping the tape. Pleased with himself, Paire goes for another drop shot. Murray’s on to his game. A forehand makes it 15-all. Paire is in drop shot mode. This is ludicrous. Another one barely makes the net. 15-30. Another one sits up for Murray, who rams a forehand away for 15-40. Paire saves the first. Then he nets a backhand and Murray breaks back.

2.44pm BST

First set: Murray* 1-2 Paire (*denotes server): Murray drops his first point on serve, pulling a forehand wide. He’s tested in the next rally when a Paire shot clips the tape. He has the presence of mind to drop shot, however, and win the point with a volley. But Paire’s an inventive shotmaker, especially with his backhand, and he drills one down the line for 15-30. He’s come to play! He always comes to play. The challenge is sustaining it. But he’s obviously dangerous early on and he earns two break points, meeting a shoddy Murray drop shot with a forehand down the line. Murray saves the first when Paire nets a forehand. Not the second, though. Murray, looking not so sprightly, can’t do anything about a wonderful little drop volley. This has all gone PAIRE SHAPED.

2.40pm BST

First set: Murray 1-1 Paire* (*denotes server): Paire begins with a double-fault. He wins his first point with an ace; that’s the kind of eccentric challenge Murray faces here. Another one makes it 30-15, but he skews a forehand long for 30-all and then Murray defends magnificently to earn a break point, Paire unable to deal with a low ball down by his feet at the net. The next point lasts a while. Murray leaves a ball short and Paire swipes a forehand away to force deuce. It’s turning into a long game. But it ends when Murray wafts a dismal slice long. He seemed to be about to hit a drop shot, only to change his mind at the last second. He looked disgusted with himself.

2.33pm BST

First set: Murray* 1-0 Paire (*denotes server): A huge cheer from the Centre Court crowd as the players take their positions. It’s Andy Murray to serve first. He wins the first point and then Paire sends a backhand long. The Frenchman decides to waste a challenge for no good reason. It was clearly out. Murray makes it 40-0 with his first ace. His second sees him hold to love.

2.29pm BST

“He has a very bushy beard,” says Boris Becker of Benoit Paire. “I don’t know if that is superstition.”

2.28pm BST

Murray has only met Paire once before. That was in Monte Carlo last year. He trailed by a set and a break. He won.

11.49am BST

Hello. The good news is that Andy Murray’s on a 25-match winning streak against French players. The bad news is he’s got a sore hip. Luckily he’s managed to spend the weekend resting up before taking on Benoit Paire, the world No46. Having survived a fantastically unorthodox challenge from Fabio Fognini on Friday night, Murray will be confident of dealing with a slightly inferior version this afternoon. That said, you can’t take anything for granted with the world No1 this year.

Play begins soon.

Related: Andy Murray recalls previous win over Benoît Paire as good Wimbledon omen

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/10/andy-murray-v-benoit-paire-wimbledon-2017-fourth-round-live

Jul 10

Wimbledon 2017: Nadal into fifth set with Müller, Federer beats Dimitrov – live!

7.11pm BST

On Court 3, Milos Raonic has won the fourth set 7-5 against Alex Zverev. Yes, there is tennis elsewhere taking place. That one’s into a fifth.

7.10pm BST

Rafa Nadal finds himself down 0-15 again after netting a forehand. Time for a body serve. A drop shot. Muller leads it and lobs, but Nadal makes it 15-all with an athletic overhead for 15-all. The game goes to 30-all when Nadal nets another forehand. Is Muller to earn another match point here? Nadal looks anxious. He takes a deep breath. A huge forehand softens Muller up, though, and he plants a volley out of reach for 40-30. Muller nets a return and Nadal holds for 6-6.

7.05pm BST

Gilles Muller nervelessly skips into a 30-0 lead, chopping a slice down the line before serving accurately. Nadal, scampering on to a volley down to the left, sends a forehand long to make it 40-0. Then he holds for 6-5 with a superb touch at the net. Over to you Rafa.

7.02pm BST

Urgent applause greets Rafael Nadal as he steps up to serve. Some fans are shouting his name. Others whistle and whoop. This is a big moment. In fact it’s a Big Moment. Rafael Nadal serves to stay in the tournament and he begins the task by sending a forehand wide. All of a sudden, Muller’s three points from a famous win. Then Nadal nets a forehand. It’a 0-30. Muller is two points from victory. The excitement grows. Muller slices wide. 15-30. Nadal whacks a serve down the middle. A few fans think it’s an ace – it’s wide. Second serve … into the net. Muller has two match points! He’s bouncing up and down on the spot. It’s not quite in his hands, after all. Nadal still has a semblance of control and he saves the first with a swinging ace down the middle for 30-40. Nadal serves wide – and Muller, going big, nets a forehand! It’s deuce. Nadal wins the next point, serving excellently, a 120mph missile doing the job, and an ace down the middle seals a huge hold! It’s 5-5. You fear for Muller now.

6.55pm BST

Serving powerfully, Gilles Muller holds to love to lead 5-4. Rafa Nadal will serve to stay in the tournament.

6.54pm BST

Gilles Muller had the slightest of looks at 0-15, but it was fleeting. Nadal holds to 15 for 4-4 in the fifth set. “Come on!” he barks, pumping himself up even more. They’re chanting his name now. Wimbledon, the home of the underdog.

6.51pm BST

After the briefest hint of insurrection, which was quelled with extreme haste, Federer earns three match points with some serve-volley. He can’t take the first. He takes the second when Dimitrov wafts a forehand long. That wasn’t much of a contest. No one’s going to remember that. So much for it being the match of the day.

6.48pm BST

That didn’t last long. Grigor Dimitrov spanks a forehand long and Roger Federer breaks to lead 5-4. He’ll serve for the match.

6.43pm BST

There’s still a bit of life left in Grigor Dimitrov. He’s broken back for 4-4 in the third set on Centre Court. Is an astonishing comeback in the offing?

6.41pm BST

Gilles Muller is serving with more poise and oomph and unpredictability again and he looks in control at 40-0. But Rafa Nadal is Rafa Nadal and he fights back to 40-30. Muller has to play a very good backhand indeed to hold for 3-2.

6.36pm BST

Honestly, there’s nothing more lovely on a sunny day than taking your child to the park to hit a few tennis balls ❤️

6.34pm BST

Gilles Muller’s reaction is more understated than Nadal’s when he holds to 15 for a 2-1 lead in the fifth set on Court 1. No more than a quiet clenched fist from the 16th seed. Does he believe he can win this?

6.31pm BST

Roger Federer breaks to lead 6-4, 6-2, 3-2 on Centre Court. “Baby Fed, my hole,” he says during the changeover.

6.29pm BST

Rafa Nadal’s doing double fist pumps and he’s vamosing and he’s running around like he’s won the tournament. All he’s done is hold to 30 at the start of the fifth set. I’m not sure anyone likes anything as much as Rafael Nadal likes winning isolated tennis points.

6.24pm BST

Dominic Thiem’s on the brink here. The young Austrian, who was heavily fancied before the match, finds himself facing two match points after pinging a forehand long. Tomas Berdych, still so powerful, only needs one. He slams down an ace and laps up the acclaim of the crowd on Court 3. He’s through to the last eight and a possible quarter-final against Novak Djokovic. A slight problem is that Djokovic leads 25-2 in that head-to-head.

6.21pm BST

Alex Zverev’s pumping his fist after outlasting Milos Raonic in a tense rally. The Canadian sends a forehand long to give the young German a set point. Zverev swings an ace down the middle to lead 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 and move a set away from his first grand slam quarter-final.

6.18pm BST

Serving at 5-4, Rafael Nadal clubs a forehand away for 15-0. A massive backhand down the line brings up three set points – and Muller lifts a backhand long. They’re going into a fifth set. Nadal’s Uhh’d his way back from two sets down and there’s surely no way he’s losing this now.

6.14pm BST

Gilles Mullers holds to 30. Rafa Nadal will serve for the fourth set at 5-4.

6.13pm BST

Cool volleying from Roger Federer brings up three set points. He can’t take the first, netting a backhand, and Dimitrov saves the second with a glorious forehand return. But a good serve down the middle from Federer forces Dimitrov to net a forehand and he leads 6-4, 6-2. That one’s over.

6.11pm BST

Roger Federer’s toying with Grigor Dimitrov now, as though he’s determined to end this Baby Fed nonsense once and for all. He breaks for a 6-4, 5-2 lead in the Centre Court damp squib.

6.08pm BST

An absolutely stonking backhand pass from the very special Alex Zverev on his third break point is enough for him to forge ahead against Milos Raonic! The 10th seed breaks to lead 6-4, 5-7, 4-3.

6.06pm BST

Two holds after the changeover on Court 1. But Rafael Nadal is the one with the advantage. Gilles Muller trails 3-4 in the fourth set and this one looks like it’s going the distance. Novak Djokovic must be delighted at having to wait so long to get on court.

6.05pm BST

Tomas Berdych is a few holds away from another Wimbledon quarter-final. The 11th seed has broken against Dominic Thiem and leads 2-0 in the fifth set. Alex Zverev’s creating chances, too, but he hasn’t been able to take two break points against Milos Raonic in the seventh game of the third set on Court 2. On they go.

6.03pm BST

Grigor Dimitrov’s fading away now, pulling a forehand wide to drop his serve. Federer breaks for a 6-4, 3-2 lead.

6.01pm BST

Gilles Muller is beginning to feel the strain. The relentless of Rafa Nadal is taking its toll. A double-fault makes it 0-30 and Nadal earns three break points when a smash forces Muller to net a backhand. Nadal nets a forehand on the first and Muller saves the second, smartly serve-volleying. Can he save the third? You betcha! Stunning, precise hitting finds its way through the Nadal wall, a final forehand forcing deuce, but the Spaniard has a fourth break point after double-faulting. Nadal gets this serve back – and Muller nets a high backhand. Nadal leads 3-2 and this may well be heading into a fifth set.

5.55pm BST

Roger Federer would just love to glance at the Centre Court scoreboard during a changeover and see that Nadal’s a break down in the fourth set. But the Spaniard holds to love on Court 1 to make it 2-2 in the fourth set.

5.53pm BST

Dominic Thiem might not be totally sure of himself on grass yet, but he’s showing impressive fight against the experienced Tomas Berdych. The Austrian has won the fourth set 6-3 to force a fifth set on Court 3.

5.51pm BST

As for Rafael Nadal, he is subjecting Gilles Muller to intense pressure. But he can’t take two break points, sending a backhand pass long on the second. Eventually Muller holds to lead 2-1, volleying superbly.

5.47pm BST

Roger Federer skips into a 40-0 lead, Dimitrov netting a forehand. Then he skelps an ace down the middle to take the first set 6-4.

5.45pm BST

On Centre Court, Grigor Dimitrov continues to impress in a highly competitive first set against Roger Federer. Hitting his forehand sweetly, the Bulgarian is giving Federer a few problems. But Federer is, well, Federer. Some big hitting draws errors from Dimitrov, who’s suddenly down 30-40. Dimitrov saves it with a huge ace out wide, before shooting a look at his team, but he’s facing another after a double-fault. He clings on. But he can’t convert a game point and a wayward forehand gives Federer a third chance. Dimitrov blunders this time. A wild forehand and Federer breaks to lead 5-4 in the first set!

5.37pm BST

Milos Raonic took that second set without having to do any peak Raonicing. No need for a tie-break – he took it 7-5 off Alex Zverev, so there’s at least two more sets left in the battle on Court 2.

5.36pm BST

Rafael Nadal appears to have sorted this out now. His deeper serving position is doing the trick. And here he is serving for the third set. An ace makes it 30-0 and Muller misses a forehand down the line by an inch to hand Nadal three set points. He can’t take the first, though, double-faulting. Then he nets a forehand to make it 40-30. The crowd stirs. But Muller soon nets a forehand. Vamos! Nadal roars. He’s back in it, but Muller still leads 6-3, 6-4, 3-6 and might only need to keep serving venomously to snatch one more set – and victory.

5.31pm BST

Milos Raonic is Raonicing at the moment, holding for 6-5 in the second set against Alex Zverev. The youngster will serve for a tie-break.

5.29pm BST

Hello again. I’ve just had an apple. Tomas Berdych has just won a set. He leads 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 against Dominic Thiem.

5.27pm BST

And now, Jacob Steinberg is back. He’ll take you through the remainder of play. Email him on Jacob.Steinberg@theGuardian.com

5.26pm BST

Muller holds, but Nadal still looks good. It’s 4-2 in the third set after Muller took the first two. New balls and…well, in the time it took to write that entry out, Nadal rattled through a service game. Impressive. Now 5-2 in the third.

5.21pm BST

Nadal holds to go 4-1 up in the third. Two sets down, but there’s a glint in his eye and a purpose to the way he retrieves his underpants from betwixt his buttocks.

5.19pm BST

Meanwhile, Federer v Dimitrov is underway on Centre Court, and Dimitrov has held the first game.

5.18pm BST

In other serve-breaking news, Raonic is heaving his way back into his game against Zverev, breaking back in the second to level that set at 3-3. In the game out on Court Three, Berdych is up 4-2 in the third set over Thiem, having won one set apiece earlier.

5.16pm BST

Nadal breaks! Despite being two sets down, you’d be fairly brave to really back against Nadal. And he starts a potential recovery by breaking Muller in the fourth game of the third set!

5.14pm BST

Want some details on how Andy Murray made it through to the quarters? Kevin Mitchell was there, and he’s very much looking forward to telling you about it.

Related: Andy Murray hobbles to 10th straight Wimbledon quarter-final with Paire win

5.09pm BST

“The upset of the tournament” if Nadal goes out?!” exclaims Stuart MacKenzie. “Since Nadal has gone out to players below 100 in the World the last 4 times he played Wimbledon (having won the French Open in 3 of those years), surely the upset of the tournament would be for him to beat the world no 26!”

5.08pm BST

Another break for Zverev! Already a set up, the lanky German has broken Raonic’s serve and, with a belting couple of backhands, serves out to take a 3-1 win in the second. He won the first 6-4. Last year’s defeated finalist is in some bother.

5.05pm BST

In the end the final set was fairly straightforward for the American, who dances all over Court 18 after serving that one out to defeat his giant South African opponent in five. Querrey will now face Murray in the quarter-finals.

5.03pm BST

Next up on Centre Court will be Roger Federer vs Grigor Dimitrov. We’ll keep our eye on that one as and when.

5.02pm BST

Meanwhile Anderson did serve that game out, but now Querrey is serving for the match. And Berdych seems to be taking his anger at losing that second set out on some forehands: he’s already broken Thiem and is 2-0 up in the third.

5.00pm BST

Muller serves for the set: and he takes it! Wonderful stuff from the big southpaw Luxembourger, who sticks a brilliant forehand down the line and right onto the baseline, Nadal can only net and Muller now leads 6-3, 6-4! Remarkable scenes. The upset of the tournament on our hands here?

4.58pm BST

Now then: a mild surprise on the cards as Zverev takes the first set against Raonic, 6-4. Meanwhile Thiem blasted through a tie-breaker against Berdych, winning that 7-1 to level the match at 3-6, 7-6. And to complete this mini round-up, Kevin Anderson is serving to stay in the match against Sam Querrey in the fifth…

4.55pm BST

Andy Murray v Benoit Paire is over: see how it went with Jacob Steinberg here.

4.54pm BST

Trouble now for Nadal – another break point down at 4-4…and he inexplicably puts a straightforward backhand into the net! Muller will now serve for the second set!

4.50pm BST

…but Muller saves two of those break points, Nadal sticks a forehand carelessly into the net, and a big serve digs Muller out of a hole once more. It’s 4-4 in the second, Muller won the first 6-3.

4.47pm BST

It’s one of those rallies where the crowd starts laughing at how absurd some of the shots were. Muller plays a drop-shot that should have ended it, Nadal somehow scrambles to get it over the net, Muller then lobs one up that might have been going out but Nadal goes for the smash anyway…that Muller somehow gets on his tippy-toes and puts back in play…and eventually Nadal wins the points with a backhand that clips the very outside millimetre of the sideline. And now it’s break point to Nadal…

4.43pm BST

Bit of an epic game happening on three. The tenth game of the second set seems to have been going on for about a year, and Berdych isn’t happy. After giving the umpire a proper earful following a disputed line call, he initially channels his irritation into some absolute woofs of serves, pinging aces past Thiem’s nose, then eventually holds after a forehand goes long. If he’d lost that game, Berdych might have just burst. It’s 5-5 in the second, Berdych having won the first 6-3.

4.32pm BST

We’re into a fifth on Court 18. The tie-breaker gets to double figures, Querrey tries a rather ill-advised drop-shot which gives Anderson the set point, and he converts, winning the tie-breaker 13-11.

4.27pm BST

Ding-dong affair in the Querrey-Anderson tie-breaker: it’s 9-9, the latest set point saved by a booming Querrey ace.

4.24pm BST

Another slight surprise brewing? Zverev has broken Raonic on Court Two, and leads 3-1 in the first set.

4.22pm BST

That was the first Grand Slam set that Nadal has dropped since the Australian Open final this year. He of course blew through the French Open and hasn’t been troubled so far in this tournament either. Crumbs.

4.19pm BST

Well then. Some brutal serves that Nadal doesn’t even sniff holds for Muller, the one that closed out the set in particular absolutely un-returnable, booming in from left to right and completely cramping him on the backhand. Nadal jogs off court for a toilet break/to splash some water on his face. A task on his hands here.

4.16pm BST

We’ve got a fourth set tie-breaker over in Querrey v Anderson. Remember the former leads the latter 5-7, 7-6. 6-3…

4.15pm BST

Perhaps it’s no wonder Nadal is struggling a little…

Ouch!

That’s not the warm-up #Nadal had in mind.

At least he saw the funny side of it!#Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/g27qZb7VI7

4.13pm BST

Muller holds with no little gusto, and he’s up 5-2 in the third. Here’s Nadal, serving to stay in the first set after 22 minutes…

4.08pm BST

A break! After some smart play by Muller, he has a break-point against Nadal, but isn’t helped by the net cord as one flops over from the Spaniard but his own shot straight after that stays his own side. Muller then sets up a second break-point with a lovely drop-shot…and he takes it as Nadal rather limply puts a forehand into the net. Muller up 4-2 in the first.

4.06pm BST

Over on Court Two, a lumbering robot slowly comes into view, as Milos Raonic starts his match against 10th seed Alexander Zverev.

4.02pm BST

Nadal and Muller is currently at 2-3 in the first, going with serve. Meanwhile, Tomas Berdych has firmly rejected the idea of mucking around by winning the first set against Thiem 6-3, inside half-an-hour.

3.55pm BST

A break for Berdych against the upsettingly youthful Thiem, he leads 4-2 in the first set.

3.53pm BST

After a brief wobble and some slight problems actually closing the game out, Halep eventually does take the match after some murderous groundstrokes and an Azarenka backhand into the tramlines seals things. Halep makes it into the quarter-finals where she will face Johanna Konta.

3.49pm BST

Nadal v Muller is underway on One, and the first two games have gone with serve.

3.48pm BST

Way over out on Court 18, Querrey has taken the third set to lead 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 against Kevin Anderson, but it’s going with serve in the fourth set.

3.46pm BST

Oh! What’s this! Not only does Azarenka save that match point, but she fights back to break and takes the game with a smashing drop-shot. It’s still 5-2 to Halep, but Azarenka isn’t letting her comeback go without a scrap.

3.44pm BST

Azarenka produces a couple of fine moments to take a game in the second, but Halep has just been too strong for her. Match point now…

3.43pm BST

A pleasingly consistent 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 victory for the big man, who will now face the winner of Nadal v Muller in the quarters.

3.40pm BST

Report: here’s how Johanna Konta sashayed into the quarter-finals by beating Carolina Garcia in three sets.

Related: Johanna Konta first British woman in Wimbledon quarter finals for 33 years

3.37pm BST

Halep is running away with this one now. She breaks Azarenka again, then holds to 30, meaning she’s 5-0 up in the second set having won the first on a tie-breaker. Azarenka will now serve to stay in the match.

3.35pm BST

Another match we’ve neglected a tad: Sam Querrey lost the first set of his game against South African beanpole Kevin Anderson, but took the second on a tie-break and is about to serve for the third. Sorry Sam, sorry Kevin.

3.32pm BST

Next up on Court One will be Rafa Nadal vs Gilles Muller. Should be coming up shortly.

3.31pm BST

Over on Court Three, Tomas Berdych is just starting his match against Dominic Thiem. That’s seed 11 vs 8.

3.28pm BST

Over on Centre Court, the first set in owner of Scotland’s longest neck Andy Murray’s match against Benoit Paire has finished – BUT WHO WON IT? Jacob Steinberg will tell you here.

3.25pm BST

Exceptional performance in the end for Konta, who at various points looked like the match was getting away from her. In the final set she looked like she was just hanging in there on the Garcia serve, but timed her surge in the final game perfectly, and closed it out efficiently. She’ll now face either Azarenka or Halep in the quarters – and it’s looking like the latter, as she has broken to go 3-0 up in the second set, after taking the first on a tie-break.

3.22pm BST

Garcia nets after seemingly putting Konta in trouble, and Britain has its first woman in the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 33 years!

3.20pm BST

Garcia pulls ahead in the game with a couple of perfectly constructed points, but then Konta puts a brilliant backhand winner down the line, then Garcia nets….match point!

3.19pm BST

Garcia winds up to serve to remain in the match….but she nets a forehand. The cheers go up on No.1 court…

3.18pm BST

Pretty efficient stuff in the end from the No.2 seed, who by that measure alone is ostensibly the favourite for the tournament, after Kerber’s exit earlier.

3.17pm BST

But Konta’s isn’t bad at the moment either. She holds to love, a game that included a fizzer of a double-fisted backhand, and Garcia must now serve to stay in the match. No break points in the set so far – will that now change…?

3.15pm BST

That Garcia serve is currently as reliable as it is powerful. From the start of each point it puts her in control, in that game at least, and Konta does well to get anything at all on some of them. It’s back to 4-4 in the decider.

3.13pm BST

Tie-break over on Two. Halep currently leads Azarenka 3-1 in that…

3.12pm BST

Now then. It’s perhaps not the most crushing shock in the world, given Wozniacki’s iffy Grand Slam record and it’s still a seed beating a seed, but Vandeweghe produces a fine cross-court backhand to force the Dane into netting her own backhand, and seed 24 defeats seed five!

3.09pm BST

Garcia’s serve is quite the thing. She’s got a slightly unusual technique, raising the racket high before the ball toss, as if she’s warding off a rogue pigeon, but it works, holding despite a couple of fine returns from Konta. 3-3 in the final set.

3.05pm BST

The pattern is broken! Both players manage to hold consecutive games, so it’s 5-5 between Azarenka and Halep in the first. Bit disappointing really: was looking forward to them winning two games each for the rest of time.

3.03pm BST

A couple of straightforward holds: one from Garcia, then from Konta, moves the set along. 3-2 to Konta in the third.

2.59pm BST

Konta holds onto another, erm, hold, and she leads 2-1 on serve in the third and deciding set. Garcia’s old man/coach is still pretty signal-happy, mind. Wonder if anyone is keeping an eye on that…

2.58pm BST

Apologies for neglecting this match at little, but it seems to be going to form quite straightforwardly: Marin Cilic has just taken the second set against Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, mirroring the score in the first. Which means, as the sharp among you will have worked out, the Croatian leads 2-0.

2.56pm BST

True to form, Halep has broken then held against Azarenka, the games going two-by-two as the first set is squared at 4-4.

2.54pm BST

Woof! A brace of brilliant shots from Konta – one a backhand down the line, another a sizzling service return – sets up a chance for a break. But Garcia’s serve is big and digs her out of trouble once, twice, thrice and it’s 1-1 in games, 1-1 in sets.

2.51pm BST

A nerve-settler from Konta, who clinically takes the first game in the deciding set to love.

2.50pm BST

A ding to the dong! No, hang on, wait. Need to rephrase that. Anyway, holding serve doesn’t seem to be the done thing on Court Two, because after Azarenka won the first two games, only for Halep to take the second two, the former has broken again to win the following two, meaning it’s 4-2 to her in the first set. Crumbs.

2.47pm BST

That’s the resistance knocked back a touch, as Garcia holds to love to take the second set 6-4. Konta won the first 7-6, stick around for the decider.

2.45pm BST

“Really not sure where all the criticism of the women’s game comes from,” amens Amelia Clark. “It can’t be from anyone watching them play. From what I have seen this Wimbledon it’s the women’s draw where the real quality matches have been. Kerber v Muguruza this morning was incredible! Much more enjoyable than watching one of the Big Four men steamroller an opponent (or worse watching a retirement). They need to start giving these ladies the exposure they deserve by scheduling them on the main courts.”

2.45pm BST

Konta holds with a little resistance, but from 5-1 down and staring down the barrel of a third set, she’s brought it back to 5-4. Garcia is now serving for the set, though…

2.43pm BST

A nascent ding-dong over yonder: having been broken in the first game of the match, Halep has now whizzed through a couple of games against Azarenka to make it 2-2 in the first.

2.40pm BST

Now then. Signs of life from Konta, going 40-0 up as Garcia serves for the set. But her first break-point disappears just beyond the baseline, the second into the net…but she converts the third with a brilliantly manoeuvred point, nailing a backhand down the line. 5-3 to Garcia in the second set, Konta leads 1-0.

2.38pm BST

Azarenka isn’t wasting much time. In her first game against a top ten player in her first grand slam since returning to tennis following the birth of her child, she’s already a break up over Halep. 2-0 in the first to the Belorussian.

2.36pm BST

Want to hear how Garbine Muguruza knocked out No.1 seed Angelique Kerber in a belting match earlier? Here you go.

2.34pm BST

Over we nip to Court Three, where Agatha Christie character/24th seed Coco Vandeweghe has won the tie-break in the first 7-4 against Caroline Wozniaki.

2.32pm BST

Incidentally, any thoughts you might want to share, email them to Nick.Miller@theGuardian.com. Perhaps you have an opinion on the not especially subtle hand signals that Garcia’s father/coach is offering. Still, all good fun.

2.29pm BST

The first break point is saved with a backhand winner down the line, the second when a Garcia backhand goes a little long, but after a review downgrades a Konta ace to a fault, the British No.1 puts a backhand into the tramlines and Garcia goes a double break up in the second. 4-1 to her.

2.26pm BST

Might be a little strong to say the Konta wheels are coming off, but they’re a little loose: Garcia holds relatively easily and a couple of unforced errors gives her three points for a double break…

2.24pm BST

Over on Court Two, former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka (unseeded this year) is just starting her match against Simona Halep.

2.21pm BST

Konta is broken! After starting the match like a train, Konta was pegged back at the back end of the first set, and now Garcia has broken in the third game of the second. “Allez!” bellows the Frenchwoman as she goes 2-1 up.

2.19pm BST

Afternoon world, Nick Miller here to take you through the afternoon while Jacob concentrates on Andy Murray v Benoit Paire. If you fancy following that one, here’s the place.

Related: Andy Murray v Benoît Paire: Wimbledon 2017, fourth round – live!

2.15pm BST

A stroll in the park, the five-time champion wraps up things in just over an hour. She’s into the quarter-finals where she’ll play French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko.

2.06pm BST

Garbine Muguruza earns another match point and the world No1 nets a backhand this time! That’s it! Muguruza, the 2015 finalist, has completed a rousing comeback against the German, who will definitely lose her No1 spot at the end of this tournament. The appreciative applause at the conclusion of an epic match on Court 2 is loud and sustained.

2.04pm BST

On Court 2, meanwhile, Angelique Kerber has just saved two match points against Garbine Muguruza. She’s serving at 4-5 in the third.

2.04pm BST

First set tie-break: Konta* 7-3 Garcia (*denotes server): Konta takes the first with an ace! “Come on!” she roars at her box! She’s a set away from the last eight.

2.03pm BST

First set tie-break: Konta 6-3 Garcia* (*denotes server): Garcia kneels and nets a forehand. Konta has three set points.

2.03pm BST

First set tie-break: Konta 5-3 Garcia* (*denotes server): Konta balloons a forehand return.

2.02pm BST

First set tie-break: Konta* 5-2 Garcia (*denotes server): Garcia desperately sends a backhand pass long.

2.01pm BST

First set tie-break: Konta* 4-2 Garcia (*denotes server): Konta overcooks a forehand. She challenges to no avail.

2.01pm BST

First set tie-break: Konta 4-1 Garcia* (*denotes server): Garcia foolishly slams a forehand volley straight at Konta, who’s in the perfect place to wallop a forehand away!

2.00pm BST

First set tie-break: Konta 3-1 Garcia* (*denotes server): Konta nets a forehand return.

1.59pm BST

First set tie-break: Konta* 3-0 Garcia (*denotes server): Garcia pulls another forehand return wide.

1.59pm BST

First set tie-break: Konta* 2-0 Garcia (*denotes server): Garcia stretches and sends a forehand long.

1.58pm BST

First set tie-break: Konta 1-0 Garcia* (*denotes server): A double-fault from Garcia.

1.57pm BST

Caroline Garcia butchers a smash and Konta holds to force a tie-break. I’ll point by point it.

1.56pm BST

Garbine Muguruza is feeling very pleased with herself after coming through an intense deuce struggle to lead 4-3 in the third set on Court 2. And what a match it is! What tennis they’re being treated to there! Angelique Kerber must have thought she was going to break again, but Muguruza showed champion spirit to hold. As for events on Court 1, Caroline Garcia holds to 15 to lead 6-5. Looking at replays of that break point in the previous game, it seems Konta made the first challenge after playing the ball, a second after it was called out.

1.52pm BST

On Centre Court, Venus Williams is performing with regal intent. The 10th seed leads by a set and a break.

1.52pm BST

Serving for the set, Johanna Konta is under pressure after a miss that makes it 0-15. She settles any nerves with a lovely backhand pass, only to make it 15-30 with a poor backhand and Garcia earns two break points with a peach of a forehand. Konta’s feeling it here. But she steps in to save the first break point with a forehand winner, then the second with a 111mph wide serve that draws a long backhand return from Garcia. Soon she has a set point, Garcia netting a forehand. But no. She knocks a forehand long and Garcia earns another break point with a piercing return. They trade heavy blows. Garcia hits a huge backhand from left to right. The call of OUT is late. Garcia challenges. It was in by 0.000000000000001 inches and the game goes to Garcia! Konta’s furious. She thinks the point should be replayed. But the umpire isn’t having it. Garcia will serve at 5-5.

1.42pm BST

On Court 2, it’s swinging this way and that and it’s not clear at all who’s going to win it. There have been four breaks already in the final set. Garbine Muguruza claims the fourth with a clobbered forehand. It’s 3-3. Kerber can’t shake her off.

1.41pm BST

Venus Williams, 37 years old, is taking on a player 18 years her junior today. No problem. She’s won the first set 6-3 against Ana Konjuh, the 27th seed, on Centre Court.

1.38pm BST

So, Ostapenko has just won her 11th consecutive Grand Slam match. She awaits either Konjuh and Venus Williams in the quarter-finals. The Latvian is quite the force on court at the moment. And with that, and Konta 5-3 up, Jacob is back with you.

1.32pm BST

It has taken a while but the Latvian has – finally – navigated a way past No4 seed Svitolina and her first Wimbledon quarter-final. The 20-year-old Roland Garros champion eventually prospered on her eighth match point to win 6-3, 7-6. Back on Court 1, Konta continues to swing with confidence, but has been made to dig in a little. She leads 4-2 in the first set.

1.22pm BST

Garcia may well be on the board here but Konta seems to have brought her A-game, with the Briton leading 3-1. Elsewhere, on Centre Court, Venus Williams has established an early lead against Konjuh, with the American 2-1 up there. The No1 seed, Kerber, meanwhile is level pegging with Muguruza, after the Spaniard took the second set 6-4. And Svetlana Kuznetsova is into the quarter-finals at Wimbledon for the first time in 10 years after beating Agnieska Radwanska in straight sets.

1.17pm BST

Konta’s come flying out of the blocks here, and breezes into a 2-0 lead inside seven minutes, with a low, powerful forehand wrapping up the latest game.

1.12pm BST

Jacob has just ran off for a bite to eat, so you have me, Ben Fisher, for a bit. So, Caroline Garcia gets things underway against Jo Konta on Court 1, who after winning the toss elected the French player to serve. But it’s a fine start to the week for Konta, who races into a 1-0 lead.

1.09pm BST

I’m going to grab a sandwich – Ben Fisher will be your guide for the next 15 minutes or so. Konta and Garcia are about to start.

1.08pm BST

Jelena Ostapenko saw a match point come and go when Svitolina was serving. She carves out two match points on her serve, but can’t take either, her aim a little wonky. She earns a fourth and hits a backhand long. Svitolina sends a forehand wide. Ostapenko hits a backhand wide. Soon she’s facing a break point. Then Ostapenko double-faults. Five match points frittered away, then she does that. Oh dear. Svitolina will fancy this now, although she has to hold at 6-3, 4-5 to stay in the match.

1.01pm BST

On Court 1, Johanna Konta and Caroline Garcia are getting ready for their tussle. It should be good. Garcia won their last meeting, in Indian Wells earlier this year, and reached the quarter-finals of the French Open last month. Venus Williams and Ana Konjuh are also out on Centre Court.

12.56pm BST

They’re going the distance on Court 18. Petra Martic has held her never this time to win the second set 6-2 against Magdalena Rybarikova.

12.53pm BST

Jelena Ostapenko is inching closer to her first Wimbledon quarter-final. She finds the line with a baseline down the line and breaks Elina Svitolina to lead 6-3, 4-2. To think that she was effectively a nobody no barely a month ago!

12.50pm BST

A wonderful chance for Angelique Kerber to break goes begging. She can’t quite find the target with a forehand pass. This is an outstanding match. Garbine Muguruza could win it yet.

12.44pm BST

Second Monday 2012, 4 x champ Serena was put on Court 2.

12.41pm BST

“I agree that women’s tennis is not intrinsically more or less boring than men’s, but you’re far more likely to see a great match from the men, because the great matches are the epic five-setters,” says Thomas Baldwin. “Solution: the women should play five sets too. Surely no-one these days believes that women aren’t physically capable of five sets, but restricting them to three is sending a message that this is an inferior product to the men. And it would have the added benefit of killing the pay debate.”

But it comes to the stage where women can’t win. They basically can’t win this argument. We run the risk of creating the impression tennis is all about the Big Four – and though they are a phenomenon that extends beyond tennis (it’s arguable the standard of any sport has never been higher than in their era), what will be left when they retire?

12.39pm BST

The New York Times’s tennis correspondent is with your live blogger today.

Really no good reason Kerber & Muguruza are on No. 2 Court. They should be on Centre Court or No. 1. One of Big 4 men should have been moved

12.34pm BST

Petra Martic was a break up in the first set, but lost it. She’s a break up in the second set now.

“From what Kerber is showing, she deserves being on the show court, and that match today should have been on one of the main courts,” says Marcus Schuh. “Why is it that Kerber is not getting the credit she deserves by the organizers?”

12.29pm BST

Angelique Kerber is on one today! A huge wallop of her racket sends the ball flying past Garbine Muguruza, who hangs on for dear life until there’s nothing left to hang on to, and the first goes to the world No1, 6-4. She’s not in crisis any more, it seems.

12.25pm BST

Too many errors are flying off Garbine Muguruza’s racket. A messy game hands the first break to Angelique Kerber, who will serve for the first set at 5-4. Did something click for Kerber on Saturday? She looks transformed today.

12.23pm BST

Petra Martic was bossing things initially on Court 18, but not any more. Magdalena Rybarikova has fought back emphatically to take the first set 6-4. The unseeded Slovakian’s causing a bit of a stir here.

12.20pm BST

Jelena Ostapenko has tamed that fightback from Elina Svitolina. She holds for 5-3, then quickly earns three set points. Svitolina saves the first, but not the second, knocking a forehand long. Ostapenko takes it 6-3.

12.16pm BST

A very clever chopped backhand slice from Svetlana Kuznetsova is enough for the Russian to grab the first set 6-2. She’s thoroughly outplaying Agnieszka Radwanska.

12.15pm BST

There’s an excellent match over on Court 2, where Garbine Muguruza has stayed solid to brilliantly save a break point before holding with a big backhand for 4-3. It’s very even. Angelique Kerber’s been on her game too. “I completely agree regarding the scheduling but had a couple of thoughts about it,” says James Taylor. “Firstly, on Centre Court could the unspoken reason be that because of the roof, they can safely schedule two men’s matches in the knowledge that both will be completed on that day if they’re lengthy affairs? Secondly, and this has always been a niggle of mine, why don’t they play on the middle Sunday? You could play all the women’s fourth round matches on that day and then follow the usual format for the quarters/ semis, there’s extra income for the tournament and it eliminates the need for hasty rescheduling if inclement weather arrives during the second week. Seems a no brainer to me. Anyway, keep up the good work.”

The roof argument makes sense, though they didn’t have a roof from 2000-2008, so there was no protection for the rain back then.

12.08pm BST

Elina Svitolina has one of those breaks back to trail 3-4. Jelena Ostapenko just hit a forehand almost off the court. All or nothing with her.

12.04pm BST

It’s very good stuff on Court 2 at the moment. Garbine Muguruza and Angelique Kerber are both giving it everything early on. The Spaniard reaches a drop shot and rams a backhand down the line to hold for 3-2 in the first set. “I wonder if the preference for men’s games on the show courts is down to advertising revenue for the telly networks,” says Andrew Benton. “The games go on longer, and once someone has started watching, they tend to stay until the end if possible = a more stable and influence-able audience for the advertisers. I saw Ostapenko in Beijing last October, playing doubles with Backinsky – amazed at what she has achieved. Hope she doubles her grand slam title haul this weekend.”

12.02pm BST

Jelena Ostapenko is having all sorts of fun with Elina Svitolina. At times her rawness can conspire against her, as when she wallops a simple forehand wide, but it can be devastating. She shakes off the first miss by making up for it with a crushing shot down the line, earning her a double break and a 4-1 lead over Svitolina.

11.59am BST

“As an example of the impacts that TV coverage can have, I was recently watching the IPL, and my 5 year old daughter was stood a little behind me playing,” says Joe Hough. “As I am sure you are aware, the cheerleaders seem to come on every 30 seconds. Whilst I don’t think that they are necessary, especially in IPL, I do appreciate that some cheerleaders are immensely talented and have done a lot of training to get where they are (especially in theUSA). Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted my daughter mimicking one of the cheerleaders who was blowing a kiss to the camera. I have never avoided women’s sport (however most of what I have watched would be related to major events – Olympics etc), but I would say that I have not ever been as engaged with it as I have been with men’s. However, since then I have tried to get more female sport on the TV, as I want my daughter to believe that she can be the sportsperson and not the entourage, and to me that’s why it is important to balance the coverage more.”

11.57am BST

Agnieszka Radwanska, whose place in the fourth round arguably has much to do with Timea Bacsinszky’s fitness problems on Saturday, is in a spot of bother on Court 3. The ninth seed is down two breaks already to Svetlana Kuznetsova. Many people thought Kuznetsova, seeded seventh, would be too strong for Radwanska today and so it’s proving at the moment.

11.52am BST

@JacobSteinberg Spot on re scheduling. Ostapenko treatment all week disgraceful. If exciting new name won mens RG bet he would be on Centre

11.51am BST

Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza have met seven times. The Spaniard leads 4-3 in their head-to-head and beat Kerber in three sets here two years ago. Muguruza is the 14th seed this year, but you wouldn’t put it past her to win this match or the title. Both women are hitting the ball ferociously early on.

11.47am BST

Jelena Ostapenko means business. The fearless Latvian unleashes a vicious forehand to break Elena Svitolina in the first game on Court 12. However, women’s tennis is boring.

11.44am BST

And … play! Petra Martic certainly intends to do just that. The Croatian has broken Magdalena Rybarikova in the first game on Court 18.

11.38am BST

Tok! Tok! Tokity tok! The cast and crew are out and they’re knocking up now. Manic Monday begins soon.

11.32am BST

“I have a lot of sympathy with the argument that the best way to challenge any sense that women’s tennis is boring is to put more matches on Centre, so more people can see them to enjoy them,” says Stewart Todd. “In one respect the Big 4 have locked down those showcase spots due to their collective consistency and brilliance – fair enough. But Wimbledon are doing a disservice to the broader tournament with this scheduling. Overall I feel they do need change their view and start play at 12:00, or alternatively close the roof as standard at 8:00pm and guarantee four matches on the show court – 2 from each?”

I seem to recall that they can’t play past 11pm, so you’re potentially risking it with the type of guaranteed late session they have at Flushing Meadows. But yes, this idea that women’s tennis is boring seems to have taken over and gripped the public consciousness. Look closer. This is high quality sport, even without Serena around this year!

11.30am BST

It’s 11.30am and the ball kids are dutifully standing to attention on Courts 2, 3, 12 and 18, where the first singles matches will be underway soon. The players and officials aren’t put yet, though. There’s no timing like tennis timing.

11.24am BST

You would have been very excited about your Centre Court tickets – before Klizan retired against Djokovic and Dolgopolov trudged off against Federer, that is. Will the denizens of Court 1 be gripped if Djokovic is two sets up against Mannarino? Remember that he beat Mannarino in straight sets here last year. By the way, Murray played on Court 1 against Marin in the fourth round in 2012.

What matters more, equality or giving fans what they want? Imagine paying £110 for a CC ticket and Murray/Fed are playing elsewhere…

11.20am BST

“Do a us quicky update of the various doubles competitions for us, would you?” Andrew Benton pleads.

You can’t go wrong with Court 14 this morning, Andrew. That’s where you’ll find Jay Clarke and Marcus Willis, who continue their adventure in the men’s doubles against Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic.

11.15am BST

There was a huge crowd out on Court 14 earlier. That’s because Rafa Nadal was having a hitting session before taking on Gilles Muller later. He was absolutely GBHing the ball. You do wonder if the deteriorating court surfaces are going to play into his hands this week. No man was better in week one.

11.00am BST

There are some men’s matches I haven’t mentioned already. That’s Dominic Thiem versus Tomas Berdych, Sam Querrey versus Kevin Anderson, Milos Raonic versus Alex Zverev and Marin Cilic versus Roberto Bautista Agut. Not the easiest to call, especially big-serving Raonic against leading Next Gen star Zverev. The winner of that one could play Federer.

3.19pm BST

Hello and welcome to Manic Monday. And, getting straight to it, can there be more resounding evidence of mania than the world No1 being put on Court 2 for the second match running? Especially when this world No1 takes on the 2016 French Open champion? No, I’m not talking about Andy Murray. Instead it’s Angelique Kerber, the women’s No1, who discovers that being a member of the more boring sex means she must make do with being less interesting than male athletes. Women’s No1, know your place. It’s over there on Court 2.

Today’s order of play has been up for discussion since it came out on Saturday night. Of course the Big Four have BigFoured their way on to Centre Court and Court 1. There would have been Pimm’s-fuelled riots otherwise. It wouldn’t be Centre Court without the crowd doffing their Panama hats to Roger Federer.

Related: Johanna Konta must produce her best to beat Caroline Garcia at Wimbledon

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/10/wimbledon-2017-murray-kerber-konta-nadal-manic-monday-live

Jul 08

Wimbledon 2017 day six: Federer, Djokovic, Kerber and Muguruza through – as it happened

9.53pm BST

Your highlights from day six at SW19:

8.23pm BST

Dominic Thiem is also through to face Tomas Berdych after beating Jared Donaldson 7-5, 6-4, 6-2. That’s all from me today. Thanks for reading, commenting and emailing. See you again on the day I’m contractually obliged to call Manic Monday.

Related: Novak Djokovic sees passion and precision return in win over Ernests Gulbis

8.16pm BST

What an effort from the unseeded British pair! They’ve knocked out the No2 seeds on Court 3!

8.15pm BST

An ace brings up three match points. Another one seals his place in the fourth round against Grigor Dimitrov. Comfortable in the end.

8.10pm BST

Clarke and Willis are a game away from beating Herbert and Mahut. They lead 5-2 in the fifth. The atmosphere on Court 3 is electric. Less so on Centre Court, where assorted lickspittles are absolutely delighted to be in the presence of King Roger.

7.56pm BST

Zverev double-faults on break point. That could be that. Federer breaks early in the third set to lead 7-6, 6-4, 2-1.

7.53pm BST

Clarke and Willis have broken for a 2-0 lead in the fifth set!

7.47pm BST

That doubles match between Britain’s Jay Clarke and Marcus Willis the No2 seeds Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues-Herbert has gone to a fifth. On Court 1, meanwhile, Dominic Thiem leads 7-5, 6-4 against Jared Donaldson.

7.44pm BST

Zverev punches a return into the umpire’s chair. The easily pleased Centre Court crowd reckon it’s the funniest they’ve ever seen. Zverev responds by charging to 15-30, but Federer slaps an ace past him for 30-all and earns a set point when the German mistimes a forehand into the net. A simple forehand does the trick for Federer.

7.38pm BST

Herbert and Mahut break to lead 6-5 in the fourth. Uh oh.

7.35pm BST

Herbert and Mahut have saved all three match points and held! Blast and dammit!

7.34pm BST

Away from Centre Court, I can hear huge cheers. That’s because British men’s doubles pair Jay Clarke and Marcus Willis have three match points in the fourth set against the No2 seeds, Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues-Herbert. Well, well. They lead 3-6, 6-1, 7-6, 5-4, with the French pair serving to stay in it.

7.29pm BST

Federer is utterly determined to lob Zverev here. It’s a good way to mess with his net game. Zverev nets a volley to give up a break point, but Federer growls as he watches a forehand return sail wide. The German holds, but Federer leads 7-6, 3-2.

7.23pm BST

Mischa Zverev’s cap just fell off during a point. We call that Doing A Murray. Federer doesn’t mind. A few points later, he flashes a backhand pass down the line for 30-40. Zverev saves it with an ace. But Federer continues to push, a forehand pass earning another chance. This time, he capitalises. Zverev tees him up, Federer thrashes a drive volley away to break and lead 7-6, 2-1.

7.09pm BST

Just as he did when they met in Halle, Federer has enough in the tie-break. Zverev has really forced the issue since hauling himself level midway through the set, but accuracy was key for Federer in the tie-break. He plants a volley out of reach for three set points. Zverev serves and volleys. But Federer rams a backhand at the German, who blocks long, much to the great man’s relief.

7.04pm BST

Zverev holds to force a tie-break. He’s playing very well.

6.59pm BST

I’ve seen Federer play better than this. Two scratchy errors gift Zverev a 0-30 lead at 5-all. But he glides to 30-all and then wins a whip-sharp volleying exchange at the net, his final effort looping and hanging in the air before dropping just inside the line. The game goes to deuce, however, Zverev knocking on the door. Zverev fancies this. An 85mph second serve offers him the chance to attack. He does so with a backhand to earn a break point, but Federer saves it with an ace down the middle and eventually clings on to lead 6-5. On Court 1, meanwhile, Dominic Thiem has won four straight games to take the first set 7-5 against Jared Donaldson.

6.51pm BST

After two straight games for Mischa Zverev, Roger Federer holds to love to lead 5-4. There was a moment when one of his forehands was called long, but Federer shot the offending line judge a dirty look and she’s been carted off to the re-education centre. She’ll learn.

6.47pm BST

Jared Donaldson couldn’t hold his nerve or his serve. Dominic Thiem breaks back to trail 4-5.

6.47pm BST

From 30-0 up, out of nowhere Roger Federer drops his serve! Zverev battles to a break point and Federer shanks a forehand. They’re back on serve.

6.45pm BST

On Court 1, Jared Donaldson is up a break against eighth seed Dominic Thiem. The unseeded American’s serving for the first set.

6.38pm BST

Mischa Zverev did hold his opening service game, which is an improvement on the Australian Open, when he was 0-5 down to Federer after around three seconds. But now he’s a break down. Two superb backhands from Federer, then a forehand pass that drops just inside the line. Zverev left it and turned back in dismay. Federer holds with a lovely volley for 4-1.

6.24pm BST

On Centre Court, Roger Federer and Moscha Zverev have arrived. I’m going to see if the wifi’s any use there this evening. Federer, remember, crushed Zverev in Melbourne and beat him in Halle last month.

6.07pm BST

Djokovic roars a few times just to keep himself alert and awake, but his bellowing feels a little out of place given the tepid atmosphere in the stands. Gulbis wallops his umpteenth forehand long to give Djokovic five match points. Gulbis saves the first with an ace. He knocks a forehand wide on the second. Djokovic is through to face the French left-hander Adrian Mannarino and the truth is that he’s not really been tested yet.

6.00pm BST

Novak Djokovic holds easily. So we’ll have a tie-break on Centre Court. A sudden injection of drama, perhaps, or the final few steps of a gentle stroll for Djokovic.

5.56pm BST

Over on Centre Court, Ernests Gulbis makes a meal of a service game but comes through four deuces to hold for 6-5 in the third set. It might yet be a late finish for Roger Federer.

5.54pm BST

There’s no romance on Court 2. Sebastian Ofner battled hard and produced some good tennis at times, but the Austrian qualifier was always fighting a losing battle against Alexander Zverev, who’s through to face Milos Raonic after winning 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

5.53pm BST

Now it’s Caroline Wozniacki’s turn to serve for the match. And she makes a rather better fist of it than Anett Kontaveit despite finding herself down 15-30. Kontaveit whistles a backhand wide by an inch and Wozniacki has a match point. But having already saved one in the previous game, Kontaveit saves this one with a backhand down the line. Wozniacki gets another one; Kontaveit saves it with another backhand winner. Third time lucky? Yep! Wozniacki hits a backhand deep. It’s not called out. Kontaveit thinks it might be. It’s really not, Anett. So it ends here. Caroline Wozniacki is through to face Coco Vandeweghe after winning 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2. That was gritty.

5.44pm BST

Ernests Gulbis is interested again. He holds rather emphatically to lead 5-4 in the third set. Djokovic will serve to keep it alive. Is this going to a fourth?

5.40pm BST

5.36pm BST

Anett Kontaveit burned so brightly for much of the first two sets, but now she has all the shine of Donald Trump’s Hollywood star. It’s Caroline Wozniacki who’s making all the running. A Kontaveit error gifts her two break points and she constructs the next point beautifully before lofting a backhand down the line to lead 3-6, 7-6, 4-1.

5.27pm BST

With grim inevitability, Anett Kontaveit finds herself a break down to Caroline Wozniacki in the third set. It’s going to hurt so very much if she loses this.

5.20pm BST

For a man who’d never played on grass before this tournament, Sebastian Ofner’s not disgracing himself at all on Court 2. Unfortunately he’s two sets down. Alex Zverev leads 6-4, 6-4 and he’s inching closer to a fourth-round match against Milos Raonic.

5.14pm BST

Anett Kontaveit had the match on her racket. Now she’s going into a decider. She served for it twice, got broken twice and now she’s lost the tie-break 7-3 to Caroline Wozniacki.

5.11pm BST

After a quick massage, Ernests Gulbis is ready for the third set. But you sense that Roger Federer and Mischa Zverev should start running through their final preparations.

5.08pm BST

Anett Kontaveit serves for the match for a second time. She’s broken to 15. Dearie me. Tie-break.

5.05pm BST

Back to the drawing room soon for Ernests Gulbis. He’s feeling his back and has called for the trainer.

5.04pm BST

Undeterred, Kontaveit wallops two backhands away for 0-30. Then she whistles a superb forehand down the line for 0-40. It’s her 26th winner. She can’t convert any of those three break points, but she earns a fourth with an Ostapaneko-esque forehand. This time, she makes Wozniacki pay. More patient, she works the point cleverly. A backhand from left to right pulls Wozniacki out of position and allows her to punch a backhand down the line. She’ll serve for the match again.

4.59pm BST

Here’s Anett Kontaveit serving for the match. She begins with a backhand thwack for 15-0. But the game goes to 30-all and Wozniacki, with deep hitting, forces a break point. And sure enough, Wozniacki breaks back for 5-all in the second set!

4.54pm BST

Related: Wimbledon faces complaints that the quality of the grass is slipping

4.47pm BST

On Court 1, Anett Kontaveit cracks a forehand down the line, holding to 15 for a 6-3 4-2 lead against Caroline Wozniacki. The Estonian’s found some inspiration today. Can she hold her nerve?

4.46pm BST

Gulbis foolishly leaves a volley hanging in the air just long enough for Djokovic to scamper forward and whip a forehand away. Djokovic breaks to lead 6-4, 2-0 and suddenly this match doesn’t seem quite as interesting as it did around half an hour ago. Over on Court 2, meanwhile, Alexander Zverev has managed to pull clear against Sebastian Ofner. The 10th seed breaks at a good time to win the first set 6-4.

4.42pm BST

“Think you can hit a forehand hard?” Djokovic enquires of Gulbis. “Let me show you how it’s done.” And so the world No4 begins the second set by battering a forehand down the line before holding to love. Slowly but surely signs of Djokovic’s motivation are returning. Which is bad news for everyone else.

4.40pm BST

Tomas Berdych slips quietly into the fourth round. He’s beaten David Ferrer 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. The 11th seed will play Dominic Thiem or Jared Donaldson next.

4.37pm BST

Serving to stay in the first set, Gulbis finds himself down 0-30 after two poor forehands, one into the net, one badly overhit. His level’s dipping. Djokovic knows he doesn’t have to do much but get the ball back into play and wait. Gulbis promptly thrashes another forehand wide. He saves the first set point with a big serve but then he dumps a simple volley into the net. His inner fire didn’t rage for long.

4.35pm BST

That’s a fine win for Adrian Mannarino. The unseeded Frenchman has come back from 2-1 down to beat 15th-seeded Gael Monfils 7-6, 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2. There’s still no sign of Monfils really getting to grips with grass.

4.30pm BST

It’s a crying shame that the men’s final won’t be between Fogini and Gulbis.

4.29pm BST

Ernests Gulbis saves two break points with fine tennis. Then he double-faults. He winces. Djokovic is back in it at 4-4.

4.29pm BST

Anett Kontaveit, who hasn’t reached the last 16 of a slam since the US Open in 2015, is a set away from the fourth round. The 21-year-old’s taken the opener 6-3 against Caroline Wozniacki on Court 1.

4.27pm BST

Related: Angelique Kerber survives Shelby Rogers scare to advance at Wimbledon

4.24pm BST

Ernests Gulbis has a face that’s seen some things. And a truly magnificent, unruly beard. He’s on top on Centre Court against Novak Djokovic, who’s taking his time to work out the Latvian enigma. Djokovic trails 3-4 – and he hasn’t done a lot wrong to be honest.

4.23pm BST

Over on Court 12, Adrian Mannarino is a break up in the fifth set against Gael Monfils. The ballkids will be delighted. They’ll be lining up to congratulate him.

4.17pm BST

Sebastian Ofner was two sets down to British teenager Jay Clarke in Wimbledon qualifying. Then he won. The 21-year-old Austrian had never played on grass until this summer, but now he’s in the third round in his first grand slam event. He beat Jack Sock the other day, which is no mean feat, and today he takes on Alexander Zverev, the world No10. His run may well come to an end. But this is certainly one to keep an eye on.

4.12pm BST

So Ernests Gulbis appears to be in the mood early on. A searing backhand down the line earns him a break point. Then he demolishes a Djokovic serve with a monstrous inside-out forehand to break for a 2-1 lead! This might not last, but what a statement of intent from the Latvian.

4.10pm BST

Popular friend to the ball kids, Adrian Mannarino, has forced a fifth set against Gael Monfils after taking the fourth set. The winner plays Djokovic or Gulbis next. Meanwhile Tomas Berdych leads 6-3, 6-4 against David Ferrer.

4.06pm BST

Peace and love’s Novak Djokovic has just told the umpire to focus on Centre Court. They’ve only played one game. Good to see he’s in a good mood.

4.04pm BST

On Court 1, a lightning start from Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit. She leads 3-0 against Caroline Wozniacki.

3.59pm BST

Novak Djokovic and Ernests Gulbis are underway on Centre Court. Gulbis’s physio has said he’s never seen him this motivated. Oh my.

3.58pm BST

The world No1 finds a way. Shelby Rogers, who was a set and a break up, saves one match point but she can’t save a second, sending a backhand return long. It’s a huge win for Kerber, who goes on to face Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round. That one should be a cracker. Wonder if it will make it on to Centre on Monday.

3.52pm BST

Angelique Kerber is serving for the match. Shelby Rogers’s brave fight is almost over. Unless.

3.43pm BST

“Come on!” Angelique Kerber roars after watching Shelby Rogers whack a backhand long. She breaks for 4-3 in the third set. Rogers is becoming frayed. She’s hit 43 winners so far, but the errors are beginning to spill off her racket.

3.37pm BST

Milos Raonic is scrawling on those outsized tennis balls they sell for kids here. That’s because he’s crunched his way to a 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas. He’ll play Alex Zverev or Sebastian Ofneur next.

3.34pm BST

Agnieszka Radwanska gets there in the end. She roars into a 0-40 lead, only to squander two match points. But she takes the third, Timea Bacsinszky rattling a backhand wide. It ends 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to Radwanska and the ninth seed plays Svetlana Kuznetsova next.

3.31pm BST

It’s all happening. Shelby Rogers has ripped back into contention on Court 2, breaking back against Angelique Kerber in the third set. The powerful, punchy American holds to lead 3-2.

3.30pm BST

A set for Tomas Berdych. A tall order for David Ferrer. Berdych wins the opener 6-3.

3.30pm BST

She might only have delayed the inevitable, but at least Timea Bacsinszky hasn’t been bageled in the final set. With Agnieszka Radwanska serving for the match at 5-0, Bacsinszky battles back from 30-0 down to break back. The comeback’s on. It’s on!

3.20pm BST

Alas, young Jack Draper was no match for China’s Yibing Wu in the boy’s singles. The second seed won 6-3, 6-2.

3.19pm BST

The tide is well and truly turning on Court 2. After snatching that second set, Angelique Kerber breaks in the first game of the second. It’s the kind of match you look back on fondly after winning the title…

3.06pm BST

The last match on Court 3’s underway. It’s between David Ferrer, the former world No3, and Tomas Berdych, the 11th seed. Ferrer’s in trouble early on. The unseeded Spaniard’s struggling to deal with Berdych’s power.

3.04pm BST

Second set tie-break: Rogers 2-7 Kerber* (*denotes server): A terrible drop shot from Rogers receives the treatment from Kerber, who batters a backhand down the line. From a set and a break down, she’s forced a third set.

3.03pm BST

Second set tie-break: Rogers 2-6 Kerber* (*denotes server): Rogers saves the first.

3.03pm BST

Second set tie-break: Rogers* 1-6 Kerber (*denotes server): Five set points for Kerber.

3.01pm BST

Second set tie-break: Rogers* 1-5 Kerber (*denotes server): Rogers nets a backhand.

3.01pm BST

Second set tie-break: Rogers 1-4 Kerber* (*denotes server): It’s running away from Rogers.

3.01pm BST

Second set tie-break: Rogers 1-3 Kerber* (*denotes server): Three straight points for Kerber.

3.00pm BST

Second set tie-break: Rogers* 1-2 Kerber (*denotes server): Kerber whooshes a forehand away at the end of a grinding rally.

2.59pm BST

Second set tie-break: Rogers* 1-1 Kerber (*denotes server): Kerber levels with canny net play.

2.59pm BST

Second set tie-break: Rogers 1-0 Kerber* (*denotes server): The tie-break begins with Shelby Rogers clipping the tape with a forehand that lands on Kerber’s side.

2.58pm BST

Shelby Rogers comes through deuce to hold for a tie-break. Angelique Kerber’s waving us all goodbye if she doesn’t win this!

2.57pm BST

Agnieszka Radwanska’s guile and craft have pulled her level in an engaging match on Centre Court. The wily Pole earns two set points at 5-4 against Timea Bacsinszky and takes the first with a precise forehand into the left corner.

2.54pm BST

Intrigue grows on Centre Court and Court 2. Agnieszka Radwanska is serving for the second set on the former, while Shelby Rogers is trying to force a second-set tie-break against Angelique Kerber on the latter.

2.50pm BST

A good win for the emerging Coco Vandeweghe. She could be on to something here. She’s seeded 24th but she knows how to get around the grass and has beaten Alison Riske 6-2, 6-4, doing well to survive a brief fightback in the second set from her fellow American.

2.48pm BST

Milos Raonic is two sets up against Albert Ramos-Vinolas. 7-6, 6-4. He’s been moving that freely during the past week, but he does look like making it the last 16 again. As for Gael Monfils, he’s levelled his match against fellow Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

2.43pm BST

Angelique Kerber breaks back for 4-4! She’s still alive. For now.

2.42pm BST

Petra Martic’s renaissance continues. The Croatian qualifier has beaten Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 7-6, 6-1 to reach the fourth round for the first time. Magdalena Rybarikova’s up next for her; what a chance for both of them to make the last eight!

2.32pm BST

Shelby Rogers, who’s capable of big tennis on a good day, continues to dominate Angelique Kerber. Her thudding groundstrokes are overwhelming the ailing German.

2.31pm BST

Jack Draper, whose father Roger was the LTA’s chief executive, is competing in the boy’s singles now. The British wildcard is playing China’s Yibing Wu, the second seed.

2.27pm BST

What tennis from Petra Martic! The Croatian qualifier’s 5-0 up in the second set.

2.26pm BST

Angelique Kerber is now a set and a break down. Shelby Rogers is on her way to claiming a major scalp.

2.15pm BST

All that said about Kerber, it will only be a half-shock if she loses today, given her recent form. And she’s halfway there. Shelby Rogers, rugged and powerful, is bullying the German from the baseline and has taken the first set 6-4.

2.14pm BST

Bethanie Mattek-Sands on her knee injury pic.twitter.com/uEQCBsIa8y

2.13pm BST

After debate earlier in the week about the gender discrepancy in scheduling on Centre Court and Court 1, what does it say that Angelique Kerber is on Court 2 today? When was the last time a male No1 played on an outside court? Is Dominic Thiem more deserving of a Court 1 spot today? He’s done nothing at Wimbledon in the past and unlike Kerber doesn’t own two slam titles.

2.08pm BST

Petra Martic, who rose from the low 200s to 135 in the rankings after an excellent run in Paris, held her nerve in a first-set tie-break against Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas, winning it 8-6. Don’t be fooled by the 26-year-old Croatian qualifier’s ranking, though. She’s got game. She’s only so low because of injuries.

2.05pm BST

A very entertaining first set on Centre Court comes to an end when Timea Bacsinszky nails a backhand down the line to take it 6-3. Agnieszka Radwanska is experiencing huge problems on serve.

2.02pm BST

On Court 2, Angelique Kerber’s 2017 woes are flaring again. She’s a break down in the first set to the unseeded American Shelby Rogers, who leads 4-3. In more Stateside news, Coco Vandeweghe’s a set and a break up against fellow American Alison Riske on Court 3.

2.00pm BST

Albert Ramos-Vinolas whacks a forehand wide and the first set tie-break goes to Milos Raonic for the loss of only three points. The sixth seed doesn’t look entirely content as he walks back to his chair, though. That brow’s very furrowed during the changeover.

1.59pm BST

This is an utter sexist disgrace. That is all.

Leave Vika alone! How about writing about actual tennis. #FakeNews #Embarrassing pic.twitter.com/tPETDpZ0rC

1.55pm BST

Are you sitting down? Good. Milos Raonic is in a tie-break. I wouldn’t have wanted you to have fainted.

1.54pm BST

Adrian Mannarino has pinched that first-set tie-break against Gaël Monfils, winning 7-3. And with that I’ll hand you back to Jacob Steinberg. Enjoy.

1.52pm BST

Centre Court fans might have to wait a while to see Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who are scheduled to follow this match between Radwanska and Bacsinszky, because its not a quick one. These two are putting on an exhibition of long rallies, albeit an entertaining one. The 19th seed Bacsinszky clinches another break and she’s now serving at 3-2 up in the first.

1.46pm BST

Out on Court 12, the French No2 Gaël Monfils is in a tight opening set with the French No7 Adrian Mannarino, who holds his service game to take it to a tie-break. Raonic and Ramos Viñolas are heading that way too, locked at 5-5 in the opening set of their third round match on Court 1.

1.40pm BST

After Tsonga’s defeat Court 2 now welcomes the women’s world No1, Angelique Kerber. She faces 25-year-old American Shelby Rogers, who has never got beyond the third round of a grand slam. Kerber holds her opening service game.

1.35pm BST

It was the perfect start for Timea Bacsinszky on Centre, who earned three break points against Agnieszka Radwanska in the opening game, let them slip, then created another one and took it with a lovely crosscourt backhand as Radwanska came into the net. But the Polish player has broken back immediately and it’s all square. This will be a fun one to watch, two players who don’t rely on power but will try to outmanoeuvre each other from the baseline. On Court 1, Raonic and Ramos Viñolas are on serve, 4-3 to the Canadian in the first.

1.28pm BST

If you’re a British tennis fan buoyed by some promising homegrown performances this week, Tim Henman is on hand to bring you back down to earth:

Related: Tim Henman says British tennis standards are not good enough

1.23pm BST

One of the most interesting of yesterday evening’s matches is back on this afternoon on Court 2. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Sam Querrey were left at 6-5 to Querrey in the fifth set overnight, and as I write Querrey has broken serve. Which means it’s over! The American picks a big scalp, winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1, 7-5, and now they’re off Court 2 again.

1.17pm BST

Up first on Centre Court today is the ninth seed and 2012 finalist Agnieszka Radwanska taking on against the 19th seed Timea Bacsinszky. Meanwhile over on Court 1 they’ve just begun, where Milos Raonic has held his opening service game facing the Spanish world No19, Albert Ramos Viñolas.

1.07pm BST

Hello there. As is traditional on middle Saturday, Wimbledon welcomes faces from all around British sport into the Royal Box on Centre Court. Sue Barker is on court to salute a selection of Olympians and Paralympians who shone in last year’s Rio Games, including swimmer Adam Peaty, hockey captain Kate Richardson-Walsh, cyclists Laura and Jason Kenny, and a chap called Andy Murray. Tennis, I think. They all stand up and give an awkward wave, while Murray is greeted with a full standing ovation. Lovely.

1.02pm BST

12.58pm BST

Time for me to grab some lunch. Please give a warm welcome to Lawrence Ostlere.

12.56pm BST

Garbine Muguruza has easily accounted for Sorana Cirstea, dropping only two games in each set. They’re rattling through these matches today, aren’t they? Muguruza looks very happy indeed to be done in time for lunch. Off she goes to rest up for the rest of the weekend. On this form, she’s a threat. However her 14th seeding means she’s got a potentially daunting fourth-round match: it could be against Angelique Kerber if the world No1 beats Shelby Rogers later.

12.50pm BST

There’s always the danger of a comedown for an underdog in the match that follows a big win. Not for Magdalena Rybarikova, however. The unseeded Slovakian, who beat Karolina Pliskova on Centre Court on Thursday, has walloped Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 6-1 to reach the fourth round of a slam for the first time in her career. The 28-year-old plays Zarina Diyas or Petra Martic next.

12.47pm BST

Polona Hercog’s arms are both heavily tattooed. Let’s focus on that rather than the scoreline on Court 12. She slaps a final forehand into the net to lose 6-4, 6-0 to Svetlana Kuznetsova. The seventh seed is through to face Agnieszka Radwanska or Timea Bacsinszky.

12.46pm BST

Grigor Dimitrov wins the second set to lead 6-1, 6-1. So Dudi Sela walks to the net to shake hands. The Israeli’s done; another retirement. Unless he thinks it’s best of three. Dimitrov is through to the fourth round for the first time since 2014, when he went all the way to the semis, and he’ll play Roger Federer next.

Or Mischa Zverev.

12.41pm BST

How it it possible not to love Andy Murray?

12.39pm BST

The problem for Grigor Dimitrov as he continues to outclass Dudi Sela is that all his fine form in the first week might count for nothing on Monday: that wretched draw’s only gone and pitched him with a likely fourth-round match against Roger Federer. His style might evoke comparisons with Federer. But it’s fair to say that the master still does everything a bit better than the apprentice. Still, Dimitrov’s looking sharp on Court 3, brilliantly saving a break point with stunning feel at the net to hold for a 6-1, 4-1 lead over Dudi Sela.

12.35pm BST

After a tense first set, Svetlana Kuznetsova is in complete control against Polona Hercog. The Russian holds a commanding 6-4, 3-0 lead. Elsewhere Garbine Muguruza’s looking for the security of a double break in the second set against the fading Sorana Cirstea.

12.27pm BST

From Row A of the stands to a volley winner…

A quite incredible point from Joe Salisbury in the mixed doubles #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/nJUo9rVO5d

12.26pm BST

At the age of 28, Magdalena Rybarikova finds herself a set away from the fourth round for the first time. She won the first set 6-2 against Lesia Tsurenko. She’s unsurprisingly high on confidence after toppling Pliskova.

12.21pm BST

Svetlana Kuznetsova, the former French Open champion and a dark horse here, is a set up against Polona Hercog. She won a tight first frame 6-4.

12.18pm BST

Dudi Sela has returned to Court 3 after that medical timeout. It’s nothing the magic sponge can’t cure!

12.17pm BST

With a booming serve, Garbine Muguruza saves a break point before earning a set point with a vicious, angled backhand. It’s all the Spaniard needs. The first set is hers, 6-2. You know, no one’s really talking about Muguruza. Is that a mistake? She reached the final in 2015 and won the French Open last year. Ignore her at your peril. She should be feared by every player left in the draw*.

*Apologies for the kiss of death, Garbine.

12.11pm BST

A few whistles on Court 2 as Grigor Dimitrov changes into a new shirt. MEN ARE PEOPLE TOO, YOU KNOW. Mind you, I’m not sure how Dimitrov has managed to work up a sweat in that first set. Sela has disappeared for an off-court timeout.

12.07pm BST

And that, my friends, is the first set to Grigor Dimitrov, who delighted the crowd with an impossible backhand pass from way out on the left before breaking Dudi Sela to win it 6-1. Sela might not be with us much longer. He sits down at the changeover and calls for the trainer. Is another retirement in the offing?

12.05pm BST

In this most open of women’s draws, perhaps it wasn’t so much of a surprise when Magdalena Rybarikova dumped Karolina Pliskova out of the tournament. Still. It went down as a shock. But Rybarikova intends to keep going; the Slovakian would rather not go down as a flash in the pan and she’s 4-1 up against Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko on Court 18.

12.01pm BST

The first set’s running away from Dudi Sela with all the uncontrollable speed of Santa’s Little Helper chasing She’s The Fastest. The diminutive Israeli (I say diminutive, he’s 5ft 9in, an inch shorter than me, but that’s small in the world of men’s tennis) is broken again to 15 by Grigor Dimitrov, who leads 4-1 in the first set. Sorana Cirstea finds herself in a similar pic-pic-pickle on Court 2, where she’s two breaks down to Garbine Muguruza.

11.53am BST

Early breaks on courts 2 and 3. Muguruza broke to love against Cirstea to lead 2-1. Dudi Sela made Grigor Dimitrov work harder for his – but the Bulgarian kept pressing and got there in the end to lead 2-1.

11.51am BST

On Court 2, it will be interesting to see how Sorana Cirstea is feeling after her second-round match was marred by that awful knee injury suffered by Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Cirstea, who tried to comfort the stricken Mattek-Sands as she lay on the court in searing pain, was clearly emotionally spent when she spoke to the press later. Nothing happened to her, of course, but being involved in such an incident takes a toll. But the unseeded Romanian can’t let that weigh her down today. Not against Garbine Muguruza. Can she pull off a shock and reach the fourth round for the first time?

11.46am BST

And … play! Day six is underway.

11.38am BST

Put your hands together for the cast and crew, ladies and gentlemen! Players, officials and ball gatherers are emerging on the outside courts, ready for the start of play on day six. There are, of course, a few whoops for Grigor Dimitrov on court 3, where the Bulgarian’s about to take on Israel’s Dudi Sela, who made light of the size gap to beat the tall American, John Isner, in round two.

11.24am BST

Not that I’ve been watching too much tennis lately, but the other night I dreamt that Fabio Fognini Cantona’d someone in the Wimbledon crowd. They probably shouted ‘Come on Tim’, so they’ll have deserved it.

11.05am BST

Hello. After Andy Murray became the first member of the Big Four to show signs of vulnerability in his stress-inducing four-set win over the dashing Italian Fabio Fognini last night, the burning question in the men’s draw on day six is whether anyone give Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic something resembling a contest worthy of the name. Federer and Djokovic have both made serene progress so far, though that’s partly because their first-round matches became mired in Wimbledon’s DAY OF QUITTING SHAME, with both of their opponents retiring injured after no more than a quick hit and a stroll in the sun.

So accurately assessing their level hasn’t been easy. In the second round, Federer was briefly troubled by Dusan Lajovic, who couldn’t sustain a blistering start that took him to a first set tie-break but no further, while Djokovic saw off a feeble challenge from Pavlasek. Yee-awwwwwwwn. But don’t keep those eyes shut too long. Things could get interesting this afternoon. Let’s begin with Djokovic, who’s second on Centre Court against preposterous Latvian dandy Ernests Gulbis, who can be utterly brilliant on the rare occasions when he can be bothered, but who often looks as though he’d be more comfortable in a velvet jacket, a neckerchief and an ironic monocle than tennis whites, with a cocktail in hand and a cheeky glint suggestive of a free spirit who’d love nothing more than to show you a good time. Oh, but keep your distance. He’s so much trouble once you get to know him; the very worst!

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jul/08/wimbledon-2017-day-six-novak-djokovic-and-roger-federer-in-action-live

Jul 07

Johanna Konta’s career-best Wimbledon run continues with Sakkari win

• British No1 wins 6-4, 6-1 to reach fourth round
• Konta faces Caroline Garcia in fourth round

After the heavy fall in Eastbourne that forced her supporters to become experts on thoracic spinal cord injuries – file them next to broken metatarsals – and an epic win over Donna Vekic that finally brought her Centre Court acclaim, Johanna Konta needed a relaxing end to a draining week. Fortunately for the British No1, a swift workout with Maria Sakkari turned out to be as stressful as an all-inclusive trip to a luxury spa.

In stark contrast to her marathon ding-dong with Vekic on Wednesday, there were times when Konta could have pulled up a sun-bed during a cool and composed win over a young Greek opponent whose wild streak undermined her attempts to stop the sixth seed from becoming the first British woman to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon since Laura Robson in 2013.

Related: Wimbledon 2017: Johanna Konta wins again, Rafael Nadal in action – live!

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/07/johanna-konta-wimbledon-run-continues-maria-sakkari

Jul 02

Wimbledon men’s form guide: the players to watch in SW19 | Jacob Steinberg

Andy Murray is out of sorts but seeking to defend his title while questions remain over the rest of the big four. Is it the year for a dark horse?

1) Andy Murray

Related: Stan Wawrinka: ‘Winning Wimbledon is too far away for me to talk about’

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/02/wimbledon-mens-form-guide-players-to-watch-tennis

Jul 01

Wimbledon 2017 women’s form guide: the players to watch at SW19 | Jacob Steinberg

What to expect from the favourites and dark horses in the women’s singles at the All England Club – with Serena Williams absent and the top seeds unconvincing the tournament looks wide open

Related: Serena Williams tells McEnroe ‘respect my privacy’ after men’s ranking views

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jul/01/wimbledon-2017-womens-form-guide-players-to-watch-tennis

Jun 25

Paolo Maldini courts new love to join grand band of sport switchers | Jacob Steinberg

The legendary Milan and Italy captain will make his professional tennis debut this week after stepping away from football to pursue an unexpected ambition

It was the kind of story that made one do a double take. The Paolo Maldini? The retired footballer? The five-times European champion, former Italy captain and devilishly handsome H&M model? He’s a professional tennis player now? Are you sure? There was a temptation to assume it was nothing more than a joke that had spun out of control. It would have made sense if news had broken about Maldini becoming Milan’s manager. But tennis? At the age of 49?

After all, someone of Maldini’s standing would not have had to wait long for the offers to start rolling in if he had decided to follow in his father’s footsteps by becoming a manager. Yet he has never sounded like a man driven by a desire to enter the cut‑throat world of coaching.

Related: Paolo Maldini the one and only bows out after 25 seasons at Milan

Related: The Spin | When cricketers could double up as footballers | Andy Bull

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/25/paolo-maldini-tennis-sport-switchers-milan-italy

Jun 20

Andy Murray crashes out of Aegon Championships to lucky loser Jordan Thompson

Five-time champion Andy Murray’s Wimbledon preparations suffered a blow with a 7-6, 6-2 defeat to Jordan Thompson at Queen’s

6.09pm BST

It’s Andy Murray’s first defeat Queen’s since he lost in the third round to Radek Stepanek in 2014 – funnily enough that one also finished 7-6, 6-2. Murray was the defending Wimbledon champion that year as well. He went on to lose badly to Grigor Dimitrov in the last eight. He’ll hope this setback to Jordan Thompson, the world No90, isn’t an omen before he heads to the All England Club. He was pretty awful today, although it should be pointed out that the first match back on grass can be tricky for the top players. Murray wouldn’t have been expecting that performance, though, and what must also be acknowledged is that Thompson played extremely well and his win’s blown this tournament wide open. Murray, Wawrinka and Raonic are all out. It’s up for grabs! Thanks for reading. Bye.

6.06pm BST

The applause from the locals is respectful as Thompson, playing rather brilliantly, drills a forehand down the line for 15-0 and whacks an ace past Murray to lead 30-0. But he won’t win this match without dealing with a few nerves: two poor forehands allow Murray to fight back to 30-all. He settles down with a big serve that Murray can only block into the net, bringing up a match point. It’s all he needs. He swings another ace down the middle and Andy Murray, the defending champion, is out!

6.02pm BST

Second set: Murray* 6-7, 2-5 Thompson (*denotes server): Murray wafts another forehand long for 0-15. He’s made so many errors with that shot. At 15-all, Murray approaches the net. Thompson ties him up with a low backhand pass for 15-30. Then comes a fantastic rally. Thompson looks out of it, only for a backhand lob to send Murray on the run. Murray’s quick enough to reach it and seemingly take charge of the rally – only to send a forehand wide, handing the Australian two more break points. He challenges to no avail. Then he saves the first with a powerful serve. A bouncer of a second serve forces Thompson to knock a backhand return long on the second, the game going to deuce. But Murray seems to be wilting in the heat, netting another forehand to find himself facing a third break point. Sure enough, Murray sends another forehand wide. Jordan Thompson, the world No90 and a lucky loser here, will serve for the biggest win of his career!

5.54pm BST

Second set: Murray 6-7, 2-4 Thompson* (*denotes server): Looking to consolidate the break, Thompson rattles away his 10th ace for 30-0. A deft volley makes it 40-0. Murray’s never lost to an Australian before, has he? Thompson holds. Murray’s on the verge of relinquishing that proud record.

5.51pm BST

Second set: Murray* 6-7, 2-3 Thompson (*denotes server): Murray seems to be in control at 30-0, but Thompson fancies his chances, dinking a volley away for 30-all. Murray proceeds to make a dog’s dinner of another forehand, gifting Thompson a break point. The chuntering’s becoming louder. A lengthy rally ensues. Thompson approaches the net … and Murray lifts a backhand lob long! Thompson wheels away clenching his fist – this match is his to lose now!

5.47pm BST

Second set: Murray 6-7, 2-2 Thompson* (*denotes server): Another poor game from Murray. His forehand’s deserted him.

5.43pm BST

Second set: Murray* 6-7, 2-1 Thompson (*denotes server): Murray charges to the net, but Thompson slices a brilliant backhand down the line for 0-15. Murray responds with an ace for 15-all. He holds to 30.

5.40pm BST

Second set: Murray 6-7, 1-1 Thompson* (*denotes server): Murray finds himself holding a 0-30 lead for the first time after steering a backhand pass down the line. Soon he has three break points, Thompson unable to believe he’s walloped an easy forehand wide. Murray can’t take the first two, netting forehand returns, and he overcooks a forehand on the third. He can’t comprehend it, flinging his arms up around in despair. Thompson holds from there. The frustration grows. This is all pretty standard stuff for Murray early in the grass court season,” says Andy McMahon. “Early struggles, come through in three sets, move through the gears as he progresses further. Even a loss, though obviously not ideal with Wimbledon only two weeks away, would not phase the world No. 1, who’s seen and done it all before. Though he does like to make things difficult for himself, I’ll give him that.”

5.32pm BST

Second set: Murray* 6-7, 1-0 Thompson (*denotes server): Murray looks in trouble at 15-30, but he begins to stir and ends up holding when he scampers on to a volley and thrashes a forehand past Thompson.

5.27pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 4-7 Thompson (*denotes server): Thompson goes for a defensive lob. Murray watches, hesitates and prods a dismal overhead backhand into the net! What a wretched tie-break from Murray. He’s been so flat and he deserves to be a set down.

5.26pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 4-6 Thompson (*denotes server): Thompson balloons a forehand return.

5.25pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 3-6 Thompson* (*denotes server): Thompson cracks a 132mph ace down the middle to earn three set points!

5.25pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 3-5 Thompson* (*denotes server): Thompson serves well and slaps a forehand down the line.

5.24pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 3-4 Thompson (*denotes server): Murray plonks a drop shot wide!

5.23pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 3-3 Thompson (*denotes server): Now Murray double-faults!

5.22pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 3-2 Thompson* (*denotes server): Thompson makes himself feel better with a cute touch at the net. But he’s behind.

5.22pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 3-1 Thompson* (*denotes server): Thompson chucks in his first double-fault.

5.21pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 2-1 Thompson (*denotes server): Thompson pushes a forehand wide.

5.21pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 1-1 Thompson (*denotes server): Murray taps the ball away at the net despite Thompson’s baseline scampering.

5.20pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 0-1 Thompson* (*denotes server): Murray can’t reach a powerful serve down the middle.

5.19pm BST

First set: Murray* 6-6 Thompson (*denotes server): Serving to stay in the set for a second time, Murray puts himself in bother with a risible drop shot for 0-15. He tries another one at 15-all. Thompson reaches it and Murray nets a backhand pass for 15-30. Murray knuckles down, pinpoint backhand and an ace making it 40-30, but Thompson forces deuce with a fine backhand return down the line. Murray holds, though. Tie-break.

5.13pm BST

First set: Murray 5-6 Thompson* (*denotes server): Murray’s timing’s off. More unforced errors stop him from building pressure and Thompson holds to 30. It’s not often Murray goes through a set without carving out a single break point.

5.08pm BST

First set: Murray* 5-5 Thompson (*denotes server): Serving to stay in the set, Murray charges into a 40-0 lead with an ace down the middle. He holds to love. Are we heading for a tie-break?

5.05pm BST

First set: Murray 4-5 Thompson* (*denotes server): A little nervy, perhaps, Thompson sends a poor forehand long for 0-15. Another miss with a forehand makes it 15-30. Murray’s eyes light up, but Thompson volleys confidently for 30-all, curves an ace out wide for 40-30 and bangs another one away to hold. Murray will serve to stay in the set.

5.02pm BST

First set: Murray* 4-4 Thompson (*denotes server): Now Murray holds to love. They haven’t seen many breaks on this court today.

4.58pm BST

First set: Murray 3-4 Thompson* (*denotes server): Thompson’s serving well. Another ace sees him hold to love.

4.55pm BST

First set: Murray* 3-3 Thompson (*denotes server): Murray starts to strike the ball with more venom, driving through a backhand for 15-0. He holds to 15. It’s his first straightforward service game.

4.51pm BST

First set: Murray 2-3 Thompson* (*denotes server): With the aid of his second ace, Thompson holds to 15 comfortably. Murray’s yet to locate his best tennis.

4.48pm BST

First set: Murray* 2-2 Thompson (*denotes server): Thompson’s making the early running here, overwhelming Murray in a lengthy rally to make it 15-30, even though he struggled to put away a couple of smashes. The game goes to deuce when Murray, still sluggish, double-faults, but he has enough to hold again.

4.40pm BST

First set: Murray 1-2 Thompson* (*denotes server): Thompson is playing some impressive stuff early on, reaching a Murray volley and pulling off a gorgeous lob for 40-15. Murray starts to amp up the pace of his shots and two wayward shots from Thompson brings the game to deuce, but the Australian holds with an ace and a clever forehand slice that leaves the world No1 flailing near the baseline.

4.35pm BST

First set: Murray* 1-1 Thompson (*denotes server): Murray begins a little shakily, failing to do enough with his forehand on a couple of forehands, allowing Thompson to 15-30. Another error from Murray hands Thompson two break points. Murray inspects his racket. Then he clambers to deuce. Eventually he decides to change his racket. He’s struggling here, though, and butchers another forehand to give Thompson a third break point. The Australian nets a forehand return. Eventually Murray holds.

4.27pm BST

First set: Murray 0-1 Thompson* (*denotes server): Jordan Thompson, a man with a big serve, won the toss and chose to open the match. He wins the first two points, but Murray grinds and hustles and lobs his way to 30-all. Thompson serves effectively to hold to 30, though.

4.16pm BST

The players are out on Centre Court and they’re knocking up! We’ll have play soon. By the way, Andy Murray will be donating any winnings from this tournament to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Related: Andy Murray joins sports stars pledging donations to Grenfell appeal

4.15pm BST

What price a Murray-Djokovic final?

Stan Wawrinka’s first-round defeat at Queen’s means that Novak Djokovic will be the second seed at Wimbledon.

4.08pm BST

We’ve already had two upsets on Centre Court today. Earlier Thanaski Kokkinakis overcame Milos Raonic, the world No6, thanks to two stout tie-breaks and now Stan Wawrinka’s out. The second seed has lost 7-6, 7-5 to the veteran grass specialist, Feliciano Lopez, who sealed a fine win when his sliced return clipped the net cord on match point and landed on Wawrinka stranded! It’s already been a good day for Andy Murray, then. He’s seen his two closest challengers for the title depart, though he’ll know any complacency could see him become the latest top player to fall. He’s on next against Jordan Thompson.

11.09am BST

Hello. The last time we saw Andy Murray on a tennis court the world No1 was being clobbered around the place by Stan Wawrinka. It was a disappointing end to the French Open for Andy Murray, who was one good tie-break away from reaching the final, only to wilt in the face of some barely credible hitting from a resurgent Wawrinka in their semi-final, with the Swiss scaling some extraordinary heights in that whirlwind fifth set.

But Murray wasn’t too dispirited when he left Paris. He kept things in perspective. After all, he started the tournament with his confidence at an unprecedented low after a strangely flat start to 2017 and he had to be happy with a run to the last four in those circumstances. There were signs that his best tennis was returning, even he tended to look dogged rather than inspired for the most part, and that should provide him with plenty of optimism as he prepares for his defence of his Wimbledon title.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jun/20/andy-murray-v-jordan-thompson-aegon-championships-live

Jun 12

Can Nadal rule Wimbledon again? – five talking points from the French Open final | Jacob Steinberg

Rafael Nadal secured his 10th French Open title and looked back to his best – could he even hunt down Federer’s 18 grand slam titles?

He made the relentless pursuit of La Decima look routine in the end, but it should not be forgotten how hard Rafael Nadal has fought to restore his dominance in Paris. It felt like the end of an era when Novak Djokovic toppled the king of clay in an embarrassingly one-sided quarter‑final in 2015. But spending some time away from the tour after being struck down by a wrist injury at the end of last year rejuvenated his mind and body. Backing up that crushing forehand with a devastatingly improved backhand, Nadal played some of his finest tennis at Roland Garros to destroy Stan Wawrinka, which is saying something, and the scary thought for youngsters like Dominic Thiem and Alex Zverev must be that the Spaniard’s 10th French Open title is unlikely to be his last.

Related: Rafael Nadal revels in the instant history of ‘a perfect Roland Garros’

Related: Rafael Nadal defeats Stan Wawrinka in straight sets to win French Open

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/jun/12/rafael-nadal-wins-french-open-five-talking-points

Jun 11

French Open men’s final: Rafael Nadal beats Stan Wawrinka – as it happened

Rafael Nadal completed La Decima and collected his 15th grand slam title with a storming 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 victory over the world No3 at Roland Garros
Rafael Nadal defeats Stan Wawrinka in straight sets to win French Open
Ostapenko scales new heights in unlikely French Open triumph
French Open 2017 – the best images from the tournament

5.14pm BST

Related: French Open 2017: tournament at Roland Garros – in pictures

4.43pm BST

Related: Rafael Nadal defeats Stan Wawrinka in straight sets to win French Open

4.39pm BST

Ten French Open titles is a truly amazing achievement. We thought that the bullish Stan Wawrinka might be capable of upsetting Rafael Nadal with his power game, but it was never on the cards. He’s finally lost a grand slam final, so this is a new experience for him, but there’s no shame in falling to a player of this astonishing quality. There is no weakness to Nadal’s game on clay. He was unstoppable and he probably hasn’t finished yet. He goes up to collect that precious trophy for the first time since 2014 – hello, old friend, it’s been a while – and he lifts it in the sky and gives it a big hug. Does he get to keep it? He has tears in his eyes as he listens to the Spanish national anthem. Time to leave it there. Thank you for reading and emailing. Next stop: Wimbledon. Until then!

4.34pm BST

He’s everywhere!

#CHAMP10N

4.32pm BST

Related: Jelena Ostapenko scales new heights in unlikely French Open triumph

4.32pm BST

A beaming Rafael Nadal speaks. “It’s really unbelievable, to win the 10th is incredible, it’s very special. I’d like to thank all of you today. I’m very emotional. I try my best in all the events but the feeling I have here is impossible to describe. For me, the nerves, the adrenaline I feel when I play on this court is impossible to compare. It’s the most important event in my career, so to win here is something I cannot describe.”

4.29pm BST

The scary thing? Stan Wawrinka didn’t play badly. He just wasn’t allowed to play.

4.27pm BST

Rafa Nadal’s 15th grand slam title means he’s pulled clear of Pete Sampras. He is only three behind Roger Federer. There can be no doubt that they are the two greatest players of all time.

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Wawrinka is serving to stay in the final, but he’s under immediate pressure when he’s forced to net on the run. Soon it’s 0-30, Wawrinka cracking a forehand long. Nadal’s two points away from victory. Wawrinka keeps him waiting, punching a forehand down the line for 15-30, but Nadal earns two championship points with a superb backhand. He goes for it on the first, only to miss a forehand down the line by a whisker. But he has one more. He loops a deep forehand to Wawrinka, who’s caught completely out of position, forcing him to try a weird volley from the middle of nowhere. Nope. That’s it! Rafael Nadal has completed La Decima and won his 15th grand slam title!

4.20pm BST

Third set: Nadal* 6-2, 6-3, 5-1 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Nadal holds to love. He’s denied us a classic! Selfish.

4.16pm BST

Third set: Nadal 6-2, 6-3, 4-1 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka plays some outstanding tennis. The game still goes to deuce. For a while. Wawrinka has chances to win. He ends up giving Nadal a break point with an errant backhand. Then he batters a forehand long. It’s only a matter of time now.

4.06pm BST

Third set: Nadal* 6-2, 6-3, 3-1 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Down 0-30, Nadal wheels back and spanks an inside-out forehand past Wawrinka. What are you meant to do? Not much, other than to keep plugging away and hope for the best, which is how Wawrinka manages to fight his way to deuce. Nadal still holds, though.

3.59pm BST

Third set: Nadal 6-2, 6-3, 2-1 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Nadal has an emphatic answer for nearly everything Wawrinka tries, speeding on to a drop shot to plant a backhand down the line for 15-all. The game goes to 30-all after another rollocking Nadal forehand. Wawrinka’s clinging on, though, and holds to 30 with two massive forehands.

3.56pm BST

Third set: Nadal* 6-2, 6-3, 2-0 Wawrinka (*denotes server): He can volley too. An expert effort on the backhand side makes it 30-0. This is as close to perfection as it’s possible to be. He holds to love with a crushing forehand down the line.

3.53pm BST

Third set: Nadal 6-2, 6-3, 1-0 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Nadal is 165-1 from two sets up in grand slams, so, well … y’know. And it’s not long before he has three break points. He’s remorselessly taking Wawrinka’s game apart. Wawrinka saves the first, but Nadal skelps a forehand away to take the second.

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After an hour and 21 minutes, Nadal steps up to serve for a two-set lead. The fans are chanting his name and there’s a delay before the game can begin. It seems they’re just delaying the inevitable. Wawrinka, determined not to collapse, makes it 15-all with a fine forehand. But Nadal keeps looping high balls to the backhand, eventually coaxing an error to lead 30-15. He seizes control of the next rally with an enormous forehand – but Wawrinka keeps fighting and has a chance to pass Nadal with a forehand, only to snap his racket in two after blootering it long! Nadal has two set points, Wawrinka receives a warning for racket abuse and he’s even more annoyed when he blocks a return wide. This is surely over.

3.40pm BST

Second set: Nadal 6-2, 5-3 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Nadal screeches a backhand from right to left for 0-30, but Wawrinka wills to 40-30 with solid serves and holds with a forehand winner. Nadal will serve for a two-set lead.

3.35pm BST

Second set: Nadal* 6-2, 5-2 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Nadal slaps an ace down the middle to hold to love. He’s a game away from a two-set lead.

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Second set: Nadal 6-2, 4-2 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka has a rueful grin on his face after Nadal, from a seemingly impossible position, bashes a miracle forehand down the line. He’s happier when he holds to 15.

When you’re not even looking but you hit an amazing winner…

Un peu de magie ? C’est parti ! #RG17 pic.twitter.com/4bZuEVVTbS

3.27pm BST

Second set: Nadal* 6-2, 4-1 Wawrinka (*denotes server): The pair trade forehand winners to make it 15-all. There are signs of Wawrinka stirring. Nadal frowns after a backhand sails long, making it 15-30. But there’s no need to panic. Wawrinka can’t deal with the depth of his hitting and Nadal holds to 30.

3.21pm BST

Second set: Nadal 6-2, 3-1 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka bounces up and down a little after serve-volleying with assurance and pinging a backhand down the line for 30-0. “Come on!” he shouts after holding to 15. His support team are all trying to urge him on. At least he’s kept himself in the picture.

3.16pm BST

Second set: Nadal* 6-2, 3-0 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Are there any holes in Nadal’s game on clay? Wawrinka wipes sweat from his brow, a bewildered look on his face, and Nadal batters another forehand away to hold to 15.

3.13pm BST

Second set: Nadal 6-2, 2-0 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka’s flinging his arms around and remonstrating with himself after battering a backhand long for 0-15. Nadal senses an opportunity. He dominates the next rally, peppering Wawrinka with venomous shots, moving into a 0-30 lead when the Swiss sadly nets a nice, earning three break points with a brutal forehand. This is phenomenal. Wawrinka has no answer. He nets a forehand. Three straight breaks for Nadal, who has an iron grip on this final now.

3.09pm BST

Second set: Nadal* 6-2, 1-0 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Wawrinka takes out some of his frustration with a forehand, walloping it out of reach to make it 0-15. It’s a reminder of his vicious threat. Remember, he was a set down to Djokovic in 2014 and ended up winning in four. He won’t give up. At 30-15, he produces a stunning half-volley of a drop shot that leaves Nadal stranded. Nadal’s given a warning for a time violation. He bounces the ball a bit more. Wawrinka nets a forehand return to make it 40-30. Nadal whacks a backhand from right to left and Wawrinka hits long.

3.01pm BST

Serving to stay in the set, Wawrinka looks flustered. The relentless of Nadal is having an effect. Wawrinka pulls a forehand wide to make it 15-30. He clambers back to 30-all, but Nadal’s forehand is causing so much damage and it brings him a set point. He only needs one. Forced back and off balance, Wawrinka overcooks a forehand and the set belongs to Nadal.

2.56pm BST

First set: Nadal* 5-2 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Nadal makes it 30-15 with an ace out wide. Feeling a bit sorry for himself, Wawrinka nets a backhand to make it 40-15. Nadal holds with a snappy volley. He was the one dictating things there. He’s taken control away from Wawrinka with wondrous elan.

2.52pm BST

First set: Nadal 4-2 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka isn’t getting many free points on his serve. He nets a forehand to make it 0-15. Nadal makes it 0-30, returning brilliantly before ripping a forehand down the line after pulling Wawrinka out of the picture. Wawrinka promptly nets a forehand to hand Nadal three break points. He can’t take the first. Another swaggering return causes problems again for Wawrinka, though, and he ends up slicing a backhand into the net. Nadal breaks and you can’t say it’s not been coming.

2.47pm BST

First set: Nadal* 3-2 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Nadal quickly banishes his annoyance at squandering those four break points, charging into a 30-0 lead with a vintage forehand. At 40-0, the game looks done. Wawrinka has other ideas. He pummels a forehand down the line for 40-30. He’s allowed no closer than that, though, Nadal wrongfooting his opponent with an ace down the middle.

2.42pm BST

First set: Nadal 2-2 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): There are more errors than winners at the moment. Nerves. Tension. It’s a grand slam final and both men are tight. Wawrinka, trying to force the issue, is that crucial bit tighter. Two poor misses hand Nadal a 15-30 lead. He ignores the sirens, and forces an error from Nadal with some heavy clumps, but he’s facing a break point when he sends a forehand down the line wide. Nadal’s forehand return bounces before it hits the net, though, and the game goes to deuce. More errors stop Wawrinka from closing this out. Nadal has a second break point. He has a third break point. Wawrinka forcefully denies him on both occasions. But Nadal earns a fourth chance with a crosscourt backhand that kisses the line. The pressure, you feel, will tell at some point. But not yet. Another superb serve gets Wawrinka out of bother. In the end, Wawrinka holds and breathes a sigh of relief.

2.31pm BST

First set: Nadal* 2-1 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Nadal looks serene at 30-0, only to let Wawrinka back into the game with a couple of errors. His first serve isn’t firing here. Wawrinka’s able to attack off a second serve. And there’s the backhand. He sprays it left to right and charges to the net. Nadal defends well, but Wawrinka earns a break point with a smash. Nadal serves wide to the backhand, though, and Wawrinka goes too big with a bold return. “Come on!” Nadal cries after winning the first early battle. He inches clear with his first ace and holds when Wawrinka misses another backhand.

2.24pm BST

First set: Nadal 1-1 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): It’s a nervy start from Wawrinka, who slaps a forehand into the net for 0-15. He settles down when he wins the next three points, though, and holds with a coruscating forehand that Nadal can’t repel. “Much as I wanted Murray to win, it’s just as well Wawrinka is in this final,” says Greg Phillips. “No one was going to beat Nadal today being cagey and defensive. Wawrinka shouldn’t be able to hit him off the court, but Stan shouldn’t have been able to do it to Djokovic either. It’ll be fun watching him try.”

2.21pm BST

First set: Nadal* 1-0 Wawrinka (*denotes server): The French Open final begins with Rafael Nadal, headband in place, serving. Applause. Then silence. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Uhh! The sound that tells you we’re off. Uhh! 15-0. Uhh! 30-0. Uhh! 40-0. A rally ensues on the last point. Both men give it plenty, but it ends with Wawrinka netting a forehand on the run, confirming a comfortable hold for Nadal.

2.10pm BST

Tok! Tok! Tok! They’ve posed for photographs, done the toss and wished each other luck. It’s time to knock up. Wawrinka dashes and slides back to the baseline. He looks full on energy.

2.09pm BST

Here they come! As the lower ranked player, Rafa Nadal is the first to emerge, but naturally he gets a huge ovation from the crowd. Stan Wawrinka’s favourite round these parts too, though, and he’s also afforded a generous reception. The sun’s beating down in Paris. The stage is set. It’s almost time.

1.57pm BST

Stan Wawrinka’s coach, Magnus Norman, was with Robin Soderling when the Swede – remember him? – beat Nadal in the quarters here in 2009. Might he have another plan to topple Nadal today? Perhaps. But Uncle Toni, who’s in his nephew’s corner for one last French Open, probably has a few tricks up his sleeve as well. What a story it would be for Nadal to complete La Decima before his uncle leaves his coaching team after all these years.

1.44pm BST

“I think it would be really interesting if Stan Wawrinka were to defeat Rafa Nadal in the French Open final,” says Upender Gowal. “Not only because of the gigantic enormity of that task, but also because of the questions surrounding Stan Wawrinka’s ranking in pantheon of tennis greats. If Stan were to win his 4th major today, would that mean that he’s greater than Andy Murray? 4 grand slams beat 3 grand slams right? Or would the fact that Murray has reached 7 more grand slam finals, won 13 more Masters titles and the fact that he has been no 1 in the world still put him up as the greater player?”

And then they’re even when Murray wins Wimbledon next month*?

1.42pm BST

Pre-match reading.

Related: Stan Wawrinka needs more gas to stop Rafael Nadal racing to double figures | Kevin Mitchell

1.29pm BST

Wawrinka hit 87 winners against Murray, though, and made 77 unforced errors. He won’t die wondering and that’s what makes him so dangerous. I bet that Nadal would have preferred to play Murray given that the world No1’s less likely to suddenly erupt out of nowhere.

1.26pm BST

Nadal’s career record on clay? 388-35. Roland Garros? 78-2.

1.24pm BST

Rafa Nadal is 26-0 against players with one-handed backhands at Roland Garros. So will he use topspun serves to the Wawrinka backhand and hope to get easy points that way? Maybe. But if anyone can handle it, it’s Wawrinka. Then again, Nadal walloped him in straight sets here in 2013.

1.21pm BST

Eurosport are showing the end of Wawrinka’s win over Murray. Still terrifying.

12.08pm BST

Rafael Nadal has never lost a French Open final. Stan Wawrinka has never lost a grand slam final. Something’s got to give.

The problem for Wawrinka is that Nadal isn’t likely to give him much for free. Not now. Not with the stakes this high. Not with La Decima in sight. A year since the king of clay’s hopes of regaining his Roland Garros crown were dashed by the wrist injury that cut short his season and sparked suggestions that retirement was looming large for a player who was increasingly looking like yesterday’s man, he’s back in familiar territory, although there must have been times when even someone of Nadal’s ferocious resilience must have wondered if he’d ever be in this position again.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jun/11/stan-wawrinka-v-rafael-nadal-french-open-mens-final-live

Jun 09

Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka reach French Open final – as it happened

Stan Wawrinka roared back to win a five-set classic against Andy Murray and will play Rafael Nadal in the final after the Spaniard destroyed Dominic Thiem

9.01pm BST

Related: Andy Murray knocked out of French Open by Stan Wawrinka in semi-final

Related: Rafael Nadal overwhelms Dominic Thiem to reach French Open final

8.16pm BST

7.19pm BST

That’s all from me. Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka are the last two men standing. They’ll meet in the final on Sunday afternoon. I’ll see you then. Thanks for keeping me company today. Bye!

7.15pm BST

Serving for a place in the final, Nadal begins by butchering a smash. Then he nets a forehand. The comeback’s on! It’s on! 0-30! Then it’s 30-40! It’s on! It’s not on. Nadal saves the break point with a huge forehand and earns a match point when Thiem knocks a backhand wide. He serves hard and down the middle. Thiem nets a forehand return. The applause is muted. They share a handshake. But they cheer when it comes to saluting the majesty of Rafael Nadal. He’s into his 10th French Open final. He’s won the first nine. And that, Stan Wawrinka, was brutal.

7.09pm BST

Third set: Nadal 6-3, 6-4, 5-0 Thiem* (*denotes server): As the clock ticks over the two-hour mark, Nadal pours sulphuric acid into the wound, earning three break points with a vicious backhand return. His forehand leaves Thiem reeling. It’s going to be a bagel.

7.06pm BST

Third set: Nadal* 6-3, 6-4, 4-0 Thiem (*denotes server): It’s relentless. “so montonous after the tremendous fight between Murray and Wawrinka, which really was how tennis should be, keeping me on the edge of my chair,” Diana Badder says. “The trouble is that Nadal has virtually practised until getting playing on clay courts to a fine art for the past 20 years, which almost makes it impossible for anyone else to get a look in (unless he’s injured or off colour as he says he was in Rome, when Thiem beat him). Anyway looking forward to Monday and seeing Federer in Stuttgart on cool grass.”

7.02pm BST

Third set: Nadal 6-3, 6-4, 3-0 Thiem* (*denotes server): The fight seems to be draining from Thiem, who begins the game with a double-fault. Nadal’s tightening his grip. A rasping backhand makes it 0-30. He loosens it a little, though, and makes three straight errors. The game goes to deuce, but Nadal greedily breaks with a forehand down the line. Farewell, young Dominic.

6.54pm BST

Third set: Nadal* 6-3, 6-4, 2-0 Thiem (*denotes server): Thoughts turn to Sunday’s likely final. Can Wawrinka do to Nadal what he did to Murray? He hit 87 winners today. If he maintains that level against Nadal, could he deny him La Decima? Or will it be taken out of his hands by this man’s greatness on clay?

6.51pm BST

Third set: Nadal 6-3, 6-4, 1-0 Thiem* (*denotes server): Thiem whacks a forehand long to give Nadal a break point. Then he does it again. He hangs his head. This is a shame. We all agree Thiem will probably win this tournament at some point. But not this year.

6.43pm BST

It isn’t long before Thiem’s handed Nadal three set points. He volleys confidently to claim the first. He’s a set away from his 10th French Open final.

6.39pm BST

Second set: Nadal 6-3, 5-4 Thiem* (*denotes server): Serving to keep Nadal honest, Thiem whistles an ace past the Spaniard’s lugs to lead 40-0. It’s a love hold. And it’s now or never for Thiem. He surely won’t be coming back from two sets down.

6.37pm BST

Second set: Nadal* 6-3, 5-3 Thiem (*denotes server): Thiem constantly goes for big shots with his forehand, but he lacks patience. Plan A isn’t working. Nadal holds to 15. Is there a Plan B?

6.32pm BST

Second set: Nadal 6-3, 4-3 Thiem* (*denotes server): A Nadal winner’s called wide, but everyone, including Thiem, knows it’s in. 0-15. Which is just as well because Nadal was frowning very hard. You don’t steal winners off Rafa Nadal, who leads 0-30 when Thiem overhits a forehand. Thiem fights back. Less pace, more touch. At 15-30, he drop shots to perfection. He holds when Nadal plonks a simple volley wide.

6.28pm BST

Second set: Nadal* 6-3, 4-2 Thiem (*denotes server): Thiem is a joy to watch, a wonderfully free and imaginative player. But he’s in the ring with Rafa Nadal and he’s taking some heavy punches. Nadal holds to 15 without much of a fuss.

6.23pm BST

Second set: Nadal 6-3, 3-2 Thiem* (*denotes server): Thiem holds to 15. He’s still within touching distance. He hasn’t played badly at all. But this is Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. You have to play the match of your life – and then some.

6.19pm BST

Second set: Nadal* 6-3, 3-1 Thiem (*denotes server): Nadal holds to 15 to consolidate the break. One outstanding forehand winner from Thiem. It’s not enough.

6.13pm BST

Second set: Nadal 6-3, 2-1 Thiem* (*denotes server): With Thiem a touch erratic, the game goes to 30-all and Nadal earns a break point, wrongfooting the Austrian with a disguised forehand. Thiem nets a first serve. He sends down a kicker of a second serve, though, and is delighted to see Nadal knock a forehand return long. But inconsistency is plaguing Thiem, who nets a forehand to hand Nadal another break point. Nadal pummels a forehand down the line and Thiem nets a backhand.

6.05pm BST

Second set: Nadal* 6-3, 1-1 Thiem (*denotes server): Nadal misses a backhand, which is no reason to panic. But then he slaps a forehand into the net. 0-30. The crowd stirs a little. Nadal makes it 15-30 with a heatseeking forehand. But Thiem plays the next point beautifully, dominating with monstrous hitting, earning two break points with a stunning little volley. Nadal saves the first with a big serve. A forehand down the line does the job on the second. Deuce. Nadal holds. An ace down the middle isn’t coming back. For the third time, he holds from 15-40.

5.59pm BST

Second set: Nadal 6-3, 0-1 Thiem* (*denotes server): That was the breezy workout Nadal would have been looking for after the Murray-Wawrinka marathon. And he makes an ominous start to this set, picking Thiem off with a glorious forehand lob for 0-15. Soon Thiem’s making a double-fault. Nadal balloons a forehand, though, and Thiem sinks his teeth into the game with an ace down the middle for 40-30. The game goes to deuce, but Thiem comes up with one of those hooked forehands that hurt Djokovic so much and holds when he works Nadal over with a drop shot. Terrific from Thiem. It had to be.

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And now, Jacob is rested and will resume.

5.52pm BST

Thiem tries to blast his way out of trouble, but he can’t hit them all for thundering winners. A couple go astray, and even after Nadal misses with a forehand, Thiem goes long with a backhand and that’s the end of a bitty first set, nevertheless dominated by Nadal.

5.47pm BST

First set: Nadal 5-3 Thiem* (*denotes server): Thiem feels a little better about himself by making the old boy run a bit, and wins one point after a serve with so much loop and spin that it’s on its way down when Nadal returns it. Nadal pulverises an inside-out forehand, but Thiem takes the game after Nadal puts one wide.

5.42pm BST

First set: *Nadal 5-2 Thiem (*denotes server): Nadal shows this young shaver a thing or two about playing on clay by moving Thiem all around the court like he has him on a bit of string. Then a flex of the old muscles and a couple of big shots – showing this young shaver a thing or two about hitting a tennis ball really, really hard – and he’s 5-2 up.

5.39pm BST

First set: Nadal 4-2 Thiem* (*denotes server): Still a little scrappy, this, but there are a few spots of quality. Nadal hits the first ‘touch’ winner of the match by spinning a delicious drop-shot just over the net, but Thiem surprises most with a serve-volley and gets back ahead in the game, eventually closing out the hold with another nuclear forehand.

5.35pm BST

First set: *Nadal 4-1 Thiem (*denotes server): Thiem breaks out that weapons-grade forehand to hit the line with a fizzing winner, then Nadal puts a forehand long and we’ve got yet another break point – two of them, actually. The first is backhanded into the tramlines, then a kick serve by Nadal is just barely put back over the net by Thiem, and Nadal punishes a winner from near the net. Thiem then top-edges a return somewhere into the 15th Arrondissement, and Nadal is in control.

5.28pm BST

First set: Nadal 3-1 Thiem* (*denotes server): Nadal mishits two shots in a row, but somehow gets away with the point as Thiem offers an even bigger mishit and moonballs a backhand half-volley long. A double-fault then sets up three break points, the first two of which are saved by meaty Thiem forehand winners, and the third by a meaty Thiem forehand that Nadal can’t return. Nadal then punishes a fairly weak approach shot with a crosscourt backhand from the top of the bounce, then forces another error from Thiem to take another break, and his third game in a row.

5.21pm BST

First set: *Nadal 2-1 Thiem (*denotes server): It’s tempting to wonder if the long wait while Murray and Wawrinka did their thing has affected the concentration of these two in some way. Nadal his an overhead into the net, Thiem swings from his toes but puts a big backhand long, Nadal nets again, then again: the number of unforced errors in the early stages of this one might suggest they are both a little distracted. That second Nadal mistake sets up two break points: naturally, Thiem nets the first (although that one was from a fine wide serve), then just overcooks a bullet of a backhand, and we’re back to deuce. Then a glimpse of ruthlessness pokes through, and Nadal serves out for the first save of the match.

5.16pm BST

First set: Nadal 1-1 Thiem* (*denotes server): Again Nadal grabs the first two points, then rather carelessly concedes the following two. But Thiem, with the enthusiasm and giddiness of youth, seems to try just a little too hard to lash the cover off a couple of forehands, sticks both of them into the net and Nadal immediately breaks back.

5.12pm BST

First set: *Nadal 0-1 Thiem (*denotes server): Nadal powers his way to the first two points, then offers up that rarest of beasts, a double-fault. Thiem then jumps all over a backhand winner, and suddenly a break point as Nadal hoofs a forehand long. And break! What a start for the Austrian, as Nadal punches into the net and scuttles, perplexed, back to his chair.

5.06pm BST

Afternoon. Jacob’s just popping off to put a damp flannel on his forehead, but the tennis continues. Nadal will serve first.

5.01pm BST

Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem are out on court. Nick Miller will be your friend for the next portion of play. I need a lie-down.

4.58pm BST

Here’s Kevin Mitchell’s report from Paris.

Related: Andy Murray knocked out of French Open by Stan Wawrinka in semi-final

4.52pm BST

The next semi-final will be between Rafael Nadal, the king of clay, and Dominic Thiem, conqueror of Novak Djokovic. Play will hopefully begin soon, although they have to sort out the crowd first as the day’s been split into two sessions.

4.48pm BST

For Andy Murray, he’ll wonder about that moment when he had a chance to grab a break point in the seventh game of the fourth set. But Wawrinka came up with a stupendous forehand pass down the line, held and the from there, well. Who could have lived with him? Murray will obviously be disappointed – but he can be satisfied about his overall tournament given how he’s played for most of the year. He’s off to his favoured grass. Wawrinka stays in Paris. He’s the story today. It wasn’t just the brilliance – it was also the guts to come back from the disappointment of losing the first and third set. The 2015 champion is back in the final. It’ll be his fourth grand slam final. He won’t be the favourite if his opponent’s Rafael Nadal rather than Dominic Thiem. But get this: he’s never lost a grand slam final before. Whatever happens, it’s bound to be a titanic match.

4.43pm BST

Stan Wawrinka speaks. “With this sort of atmosphere and crowd, it was amazing to play. I know I was dominating even though I was down two sets to one. I knew I dominated the first set and and I should have won the third. Andy makes it so difficult for you. It’s incredible to be back in the finals again.I’m going to try my best. It’s not every day you make a final. After this big match I want to celebrate. Then I’m going to recover for Sunday. I’ll have another chance to win and I’m going to give everything I can.”

4.40pm BST

Murray’s avoided the bagel, but can he pull off the unthinkable? Not if Wawrinka’s going to keep doing this. He makes it 0-15 with a bone-crunching forehand. At 15-all, Murray double-faults. Then he sends a forehand long. Wawrinka has two match points. Fittingly, he takes the first with a trademark backhand down the line. He’s into his second French Open final! What a performance! Could anyone have stopped him today? Can Rafael Nadal – assuming he beats Dominic Thiem now – stop him on Sunday?

4.36pm BST

Fifth set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-7, 1-5 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Bidding to become the oldest man to reach the final at Roland Garros since Nikola Pilic in 1973, Wawrinka quickly finds himself down 0-30. But he clambers to 30-all with a huge ace out wide. Mustering some resistance, Murray earns a break point with a forehand pass from right to left. Wawrinka’s response is an ace. Of course it is. But Murray grabs another chance. Wawrinka comes forward, but he nets his volley.

4.31pm BST

Fifth set: Murray* 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-7, 0-5 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray leads 30-0, but it’s not long before Wawrinka’s crashing a forehand down the line for 30-all. Then Murray nets a backhand. It’s a break point. Murray tries a drop shot. It’s nowhere near good enough. Wawrinka storms on it and slaps a forehand down the line. He’ll serve for the match and a place in his second French Open final. Poor Murray doesn’t deserve such a cruel ending. But Wawrinka has been awesome since winning that tie-break.

4.26pm BST

Fifth set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-7, 0-4 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): There were times in the fourth set when it seemed a matter of time before Murray made the breakthrough, even though he never actually held a break point, but Wawrinka’s resilience should not be underestimated. He was a set down when he beat Novak Djokovic in the French Open and US Open finals, after all. But he is liable to suffer losses of concentration. A double-fault followed by a poor backhand and Murray has a glimmer of hope at 0-30. “Let’s go!” he cries, trying to stay positive. But errors let Wawrinka back in at 30-all. Murray nets a backhand to make it 40-30. Wawrinka holds to 30 and this may well be done.

4.21pm BST

Fifth set: Murray* 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-7, 0-3 Wawrinka (*denotes server): The Stanimal roars and chucks a backhand down the line and Murray doesn’t look like he knows what to do. At 15-all, Wawrinka rips a forehand down the line. Murray is desperate for first serves and easy points here. He has to settle for a crosscourt backhand winner for 30-all, but Wawrinka seizes a break point with a smash. This feels like a match point. And Wawrinka is too powerful. He wallops a backhand at Murray, who pulls a forehand wide. Wawrinka leads by two breaks. He’s almost there. Murray needs a miracle. More than anything, he needs Wawrinka’s level to dip.

4.16pm BST

Fifth set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-7, 0-2 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka’s in unplayable mode again, skipping into a 30-0 lead with classic backhand and forehand winners. This is formidable tennis. He holds to love.

4.14pm BST

Fifth set: Murray* 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-7, 0-1 Wawrinka (*denotes server): After a short break for both players, the final set of this epic match begins with Murray serving. How he needs a good start. But Wawrinka’s boiling here. A weak, inviting second serve has Wawrinka licking his chops again – it receives brutal treatment with the forehand again, making it 0-30. Wawrinka has two break points after nailing a forehand down the line. Murray clips a forehand down the line. But Wawrinka’s crosscourt slice with his backhand is troublesome for Murray, who nets a low volley. It’s Wawrinka’s match to lose now. “Good luck predicting this one,” says Simon McMahon. “But who’d have thunk even 5 years ago that Murray would be within a set of a second consecutive final at Roland Garros? Certainly not me. A testament not just to his brilliance as a player, but his hard work and determination to succeed. Let’s go Andy!!!”

4.06pm BST

Fourth set tie-break: Murray* 3-7 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray’s second serve is given the treatment by Wawrinka with a forehand – the same it received on set point in the second set! Wawrinka clenches his fist and puffs out his chest, the crowd goes wild and we’re going the distance!

4.04pm BST

Fourth set tie-break: Murray 3-6 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Murray lifts a forehand long. Three set points for Wawrinka!

4.04pm BST

Fourth set tie-break: Murray 3-5 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka penetrates with a backhand from left to right. Murray’s slice drifts wide.

4.02pm BST

Fourth set tie-break: Murray* 3-4 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray meets a Wawrinka backhand with a stolid volley.

4.01pm BST

Fourth set tie-break: Murray* 2-4 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray lets himself down with a wretched drop shot. It barely made the net.

4.00pm BST

Fourth set tie-break: Murray 2-3 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Murray blocks a backhand return long.

3.59pm BST

Fourth set tie-break: Murray 2-2 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Murray confounds Wawrinka with a looping backhand. Wawrinka’s forehand is horribly askew.

3.59pm BST

Fourth set tie-break: Murray* 1-2 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Wawrinka nets a big forehand.

3.58pm BST

Fourth set tie-break: Murray* 0-2 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray lifts a backhand long.

3.56pm BST

Fourth set tie-break: Murray 0-1 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka crashes an astonishing forehand down the line, Murray’s defence counting for nothing.

3.55pm BST

Fourth set: Murray* 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-6 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Serving to stay in the set, Murray’s down 0-15 when Wawrinka lands a backhand of unanswerable beauty down the line. But Murray fights back to 15-all and makes it 30-15 with a deft forehand volley. Murray holds to 15. Tie-break.

3.51pm BST

Fourth set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 5-6 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Murray nets a forehand return. His body slumps. It’s a donation for Wawrinka, who proceeds to make it 30-0 with a wonderful forehand drop shot that completely bewitches Murray. Murray can’t do anything about an ace out wide either. Wawrinka holds to love. He’s got himself a tie-break at the very least. But how about a fifth set instead?

3.49pm BST

Fourth set: Murray* 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 5-5 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Serving to prolong this superb set, Murray quickly moves into a 15-0 lead. But then Wawrinka defends like Murray to make it 15-all. His fist’s high above his head again. Two backhand errors from Wawrinka make it 40-15; a cracking backhand return that paints the line makes it 40-30. But Murray holds to 30.

3.43pm BST

Fourth set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 4-5 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka serves hard down the middle to make it 15-0. A drop volley makes it 30-0, although not before Murray’s returned another smash. Outstanding volley sees Wawrinka hold to love. He’s a game away from a fifth set.

3.40pm BST

Fourth set: Murray* 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 4-4 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Serving solidly, Murray holds to love. Now here’s where it gets really interesting. “I don’t say this lightly but I think Andy Murray might be the finest athlete Scotland has ever produced,” says Simon McMahon. “And I include Jocky Wilson in that.”

Even Craig Beattie?

3.36pm BST

Fourth set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 3-4 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka begins the game with a double-fault, but makes it 15-all with a searing forehand. Then comes a brilliant rally. Murray volleys stupendously. Wawrinka frustrates him with a lob and some stout volleying. But Murray eventually locates a way through with a forehand from right to left for 15-30. The game goes to 30-all. Murray looks like he’s going to grab his first break point of the set. He directs a low backhand into the right corner, but Wawrinka somehow steers a barely credible forehand down the line and holds his fist in the air in celebration, bellowing at his box, his face all red and sweaty and defiant! The game goes to deuce when he slaps a forehand long. This is an immense struggle now. Wawrinka holds with a huge forehand.

3.30pm BST

Fourth set: Murray* 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 3-3 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray rips a huge, Ostapenko-esque forehand into the left corner for 15-0. A gorgeous drop shot makes it 40-15. He holds to 15 with a commanding forehand.

3.26pm BST

Fourth set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 2-3 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka peels back and whistles a preposterous forehand on to the line. Or has he? The umpire has a look and decides it was out, meaning it’s 0-15. He makes his next winning attempt, though, scorching a backhand down the line for 15-all. Wawrinka congratulates himself with an “Allez!” Murray stays cool and drop shots. Wawrinka dinks down the line, Murray feathers a forehand from right to left for 15-30. “Make it!” Murray cries, however, after netting a backhand for 30-all. “Come onnnnnnnnn!” Wawrinka cries after outlasting Murray for 40-30. He holds.

3.22pm BST

Fourth set: Murray* 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 2-2 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray holds to 15. There’s still no sign of either playing crashing physically. A lot will depend on Wawrinka’s mindset. If Stan Wawrinka’s tennis career was your boyfriend, you’d tell it “let’s be friends” and put on your slinkiest dress and go hang out in a club that Andy Murray’s tennis career is reputed to frequent,” says Marie Meyer.

3.17pm BST

Fourth set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 1-2 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Two ragged Wawrinka errors make it 15-30. Is he fading? If so, he’s hiding it well judging by a smart volley for 30-all. Murray drives himself crazy when he nets a drop shot, however, after returning two drop shots with eerie anticipation and Wawrinka holds. “The winning of that set,” says Adam Hirst. “First time Murray has played like the No1 player really should. Incredible win, not many players could have held off a charging Stanimal to come through that one.”

3.14pm BST

Fourth set: Murray* 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 1-1 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray begins the game with his fourth double-fault. He has to keep his intensity high. He looks a bit weary here. Soon it’s 0-30. But he stays calm, drilling a forehand down the line for 15-30, slicing an ace down the middle for 30-all. Murray holds to 30 with a reflexive backhand down the line.

3.10pm BST

Fourth set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 0-1 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): What does Wawrinka do now? He led 3-0 and 4-2 in that third set. He was up twice in the first as well. But Murray’s an astonishing fighter. That was a stunning comeback. Wawrinka begins the fourth set with a hold to 15. The funny thing is, however, he could have already won this in straight sets.

3.07pm BST

The crowd’s getting increasingly feverish as Murray steps up to serve for the set. Even more so when Wawrinka crashes an angry forehand to the left for 0-15. Hey, anything’s possible. Murray aims a deep forehand to the Wawrinka backhand. Wawrinka flings it down the line, but Murray’s volley is exceptional for 15-all. Soon, not before a cat and mouse exchange at the net, Wawrinka spanks a forehand long for 30-15 and Murray earns two break points, punching a forehand to the right to force another error. He only needs one. Wawrinka nets a backhand down the line and Murray, improbably given the way he started this set, has his sights set on the final. It’s not over yet, though. Wawrinka won’t be going quietly. Surely we can be sure of that.

“This match just encompasses everything that’s good and bad about Stan Wawrinka,” says Upender Gowda. “If he had taken advantage of all the opportunities that Murray had provided him, he would have been probably close to winning the match right now. But then again on the flip side, he has produced some incredible mind-blowing shots on clutch points that I just cannot get enough of. If Stan Wawrinka’s tennis career was your girlfriend, you would probably fall in and out of love every second of the day and when it eventually ends, you would not know how to feel about it.”

3.01pm BST

Third set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 6-5 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): A stat flashes up at the start of this game showing that both men have won 33 points in this set. Murray wins the 67th point, Wawrinka dragging a backhand wide. He wins the 68th as well, Wawrinka surprised when a shot comes skidding off the service line, causing him to dribble a curious drop shot along the dirt for 0-30. Murray’s turning water into wine here. Wawrinka wallops another smash at him. Murray makes him play one more ball and Wawrinka blocks a volley well wide to hand Murray three break points. Wawrinka saves the first. But Murray hurtles along the baseline to reavh a Wawrinka forward, slice down the line and watch with immense satisfaction when the Swiss nets a volley! Murray breaks again. He’ll serve for the set. He is a truly preposterous specimen.

2.57pm BST

Third set: Murray* 7-6, 3-6, 5-5 Wawrinka (*denotes server): The tension rises when the first two points are split, both players misfiring. Murray makes it 30-15 when a well angled forehand draws an error from Wawrinka, who overcooks another forehand for 40-15. Murray holds impressively.

2.52pm BST

Third set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 4-5 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Murray returns with a splendid backhand before whipping a forehand into the opposite corner for 0-15. He’s inspired at the moment. He’s desperate to keep the momentum going. “No!” he yelps after netting a backhand return. Then it’s Wawrinka’s turn to chunter after misreading an awkward backhand, making it 15-30. Wawrinka’s in trouble. Murray appears to be inserting himself in his head, earning two break points when a Wawrinka backhand hits the top of the net and drops well wide. He’s annoyed with himself when he nets a backhand for 30-40, though. He tries to gee himself up. Wawrinka misses a first serve. Murray promptly nets a nervy backhand return. He should have made that. But he didn’t and Wawrinka, with the aid of his third ace, holds him off. Murray should be serving for the set. Instead he’s serving to stay in it.

2.47pm BST

Third set: Murray* 7-6, 3-6, 4-4 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray tries a drop shot, a lob, everything, but he’s flat-footed with a backhand that drifts wide for 0-15, bringing up immediate danger. Obviously now’s the time for another drop shot. 15-all becomes 30-15 when Murray produces an incredible half volley over Wawrinka, whose tweener comes to naught and 30-15 becomes 40-15 when Murray defends magnificently deep on the left before reading a Wawrinka smash to the right and returning with interest, causing his stunned opponent to net a volley. Murray holds.

2.42pm BST

Third set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 3-4 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Out of nowhere, Wawrinka rips forehands down the line to make it 30-all. They’re absurd shots. But Murray simply won’t go away. Not yet. Wawrinka wallops a smash at him. Murray eventually forces Wawrinka to volley long, making it 30-40. The chance to break back disappears when Wawrinka spanks a smash past him for deuce. But here’s another one, Wawrinka netting a soft forehand. Can Murray capitalise? Not with Wawrinka in this mood. Another storming forehand down the line darkens Murray’s mood. He’s banging on the door, though, carving out a third chance when Wawrinka, with a lot of time to think, nets a forehand pass. Wawrinka can’t keep him at bay. Murray’s had enough of being on the end of backhand winners. Time for one of his own. Left to right it goes, fizzing through the air, and it isn’t coming back. What a set this is turning out to be!

2.34pm BST

Third set: Murray* 7-6, 3-6, 2-4 Wawrinka (*denotes server): The pair swap backhand errors, leaving the game at 15-all. Disgusted with himself, Wawrinka shakes his head clear and wallops a backhand pass down the line for 15-30, drawing gasps from the crowd. The intrigue grows. Murray misses a seemingly straightforward backhand, pinging it wide, giving Wawrinka two break points. He saves the first, running round a backhand to slap a forehand down the line. Then comes a lengthy rally. Murray’s nervy, but Wawrinka misses a backhand down the line and the game goes to deuce. Wawrinka’s still pushing, however, and he earns a third opportunity when Murray, scrambling for a drop shot, prods inches wide down the line. Wawrinka tamely nets a backhand return, but he has a fourth opportunity when a mishit forehand unsettles Murray, who cracks at last, wonking a horrible backhand miles wide at the net.

2.25pm BST

Third set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 2-3 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Murray changes the pace at 15-all, delicately using a drop shot to pull Wawrinka in, before dinking a forehand down the line for 15-30. That’s the first time he’s dictated for a while. Wawrinka’s having none of that, though. He volleys for 30-all and aces for 40-30. But then comes one of those forehands we saw in set one. The game goes to deuce. Murray’s asking a few questions again and he has a break point when Wawrinka hooks a backhand wide. He rips a forehand into the right corner, pushing Wawrinka back, and he breaks back when the Swiss nets a forehand.

2.20pm BST

Third set: Murray* 7-6, 3-6, 1-3 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray stops the rot with a hold to 15. “Come on,” he cries.

2.15pm BST

Third set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 0-3 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Murray’s all over the place. From 0-15, he makes three straight errors to make it 40-15. Wawrinka holds with an excellent volley. He’s won seven straight games. Murray needs to find a second wind sharpish.

2.12pm BST

Third set: Murray* 7-6, 3-6, 0-2 Wawrinka (*denotes server): The first two points are shared, Murray netting an attempted backhand pass. He looks flat compared to Wawrinka. He has to dig deep. After missing a forehand to make it 15-30, he finds the line with one for 30-all, but Wawrinka earns a break point with a venomous backhand from left to right. It’s not happening for the world No1 at the moment. Wawrinka drops a return short, but Murray whistles a forehand wide. He doesn’t bother getting the umpire to check it. He looks furious. Three straight breaks for Wawrinka.

2.07pm BST

Third set: Murray 7-6, 3-6, 0-1 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka, dialling up the volume, begins the set with a commanding hold to love. Murray’s definitely got his work cut out here.

2.03pm BST

Stan Wawrinka’s left the court, which is being watered. Andy Murray has plenty to think about during the changeover, but this could still go either way. It’s tough to call, but Wawrinka’s the favourite at the moment.

2.02pm BST

Serving to stay in the set, Murray’s third double-fault makes it 0-15. The game goes to 30-all and Murray’s struggling, netting a backhand to give Wawrinka a set point. He misses a first serve. His second serve’s there to be hit. And no one lives a swing more than Wawrinka, who puts himself into position for a vicious inside-out forehand down the line! What a response to losing that first set!

1.56pm BST

Second set: Murray 7-6, 3-5 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka comes up with a classic one-two combo, an ace out wide followed by a forehand into the opposite corner. He needs to keep foot pressed to accelerator. But 30-0 becomes 30-all, Murray catching out Wawrinka’s attempt to volley by slicing low. The game goes to deuce. But Wawrinka quashes any suggestion of an uprising, serving brilliantly, and this time he consolidates the break. Murray’s in a spot of bother.

1.50pm BST

Second set: Murray* 7-6, 3-4 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray lifts a backhand long to make it 0-15. The umpire checks to confirm it was out. It was. This isn’t. Wawrinka makes it 0-30 with a fearsome forehand to the left. If Murray was hoping Wawrinka was going to collapse, he’s sorely mistaken. Instead he’s the one in trouble after a double-fault hands Wawrinka three break points. He only needs one. A blistering backhand down the line’s too hot for Murray to handle. Wawrinka pumps his fist, a steely look on his face.

1.46pm BST

Second set: Murray 7-6, 3-3 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Murray’s still struggling with his approach shots. He keeps giving Wawrinka a target. He ought to move into a 0-30 lead, only to offer Wawrinka a chance to pass him with a forehand. Invitation accepted, Wawrinka comes up with some solid serves to hold to 15. It was more comfortable than it could have been.

1.42pm BST

Second set: Murray* 7-6, 3-2 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Getting into his groove again, Wawrinka drills a peach of a backhand down the line for 0-15. But then he crashes a forehand long. At 15-all, Murray absorbs some aggression and Wawrinka knocks a forehand just wide. Wawrinka winces. At 30-all, he overcooks another forehand. He’s still looking dangerous, though. He forces deuce with a lovely forehand from right to left. Murray has to be careful. He has chances to polish off the game, but Wawrinka isn’t letting him squirm clear yet. Murray’s having occasional problems with short forehands. He mishits one, gifting Wawrinka the chance to ping a backhand from left to right for the first break point of the set. But Murray’s quickest serve of the match forces Wawrinka to slice a return long. “Let’s go!” Murray cries before holding with two splendid forehands. “Let’s go!” he shouts again, but he’s not specifying a destination yet.

1.31pm BST

Second set: Murray 7-6, 2-2 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): The new balls have arrived. Wawrinka easily holds to love. Murray gives his legs a telling off.

1.27pm BST

Second set: Murray* 7-6, 2-1 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray enjoys a stress-free hold to 30. Wawrinka shoots a withering look at his box.

1.24pm BST

Second set: Murray 7-6, 1-1 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): At 15-all, there’s a sign that Wawrinka’s still thinking about the first set when he punches a curious forehand long at the net. He fights back with two searing winners, though, but a wayward backhand takes the game to deuce. A crosscourt backhand from Wawrinka catches a piece of the line, though, and he clings on with a backhand down the line. A huge hold.

1.19pm BST

Second set: Murray* 7-6, 1-0 Wawrinka (*denotes server): That opening set is bound to have taken a lot out of both men. Maybe more out of Wawrinka, who will be so disappointed at how he dealt with a 5-3 lead and his set point in the tie-break. Murray was under the cosh as it wore on, but he was both stubborn and brilliant enough to capitalise on Wawrinka’s generosity. He begins this second set with a hold to 15.

1.13pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 8-6 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Wawrinka wildly nets a frustrated forehand return off a second serve to hand the set to Murray! Murray clenches his fist. I’m not sure how he’s made off with that one.

1.12pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 7-6 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): This is amazing. Murray stands up to everything Wawrinka throws at him. Then he hangs an absurd lob over Wawrinka to seize control of the rally. Wawrinka keeps the rally alive, but Murray wins it with a forehand to earn his first set point!

1.11pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 6-6 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka nets a backhand and lets out a cry of frustration! Incredible! Murray’s off the hook. For now. Stress levels are rising.

1.10pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 5-6 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Wawrinka celebrates after winning a stunning battle of reactions at the net with one final backhand volley! He has a set point at last! Murray has chucked this tie-break away.

1.09pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 5-5 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Awful from Murray. He’s generous with a forehand at the net. He doesn’t take a chance to smash. He lifts a backhand long.

1.08pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 5-4 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka wallops a serve at Murray, who somehow deflects it back. Wawrinka wallops a forehand at Murray. But Murray, so solid, skelps a forehand past him!

1.07pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 4-4 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka wears Murray down with a rasping forehand.

1.06pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 4-3 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray nets a forehand. Ouch.

1.05pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 4-2 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Wawrinka gives Murray a hefty dig in the jaw with a backhand from left to right. He should win the point. Instead his forehand clips the tape and deflects wide! What a let-off for Murray.

1.04pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 3-2 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka skitters a forehand long.

1.03pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 2-2 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Murray nets a backhand return.

1.03pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 2-1 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray leaves a blocked Wawrinka backhand – the wind almost embarrasses him, but it falls inches wide.

1.02pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray* 1-1 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray misses a backhand down the line. Blame the wind.

1.01pm BST

First set tie-break: Murray 1-0 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka begins with a double-fault.

12.59pm BST

First set: Murray* 6-6 Wawrinka (*denotes server): A low Murray forehand surprises Wawrinka, who’s off balance as he nets. The wind’s starting to have an impact. At 30-0, for example, it drags a Murray drop shot spinning off in a dizzyingly strange direction, before a Wawrinka forehand drops wide. Murray holds to 30. Just.

12.54pm BST

First set: Murray 5-6 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): A beautiful inside-out forehand from Wawrinka makes it 15-0. He’s so very good to watch. Another one sets him up for a clobbered forehand volley, making it 30-0. A smash makes it 40-15. Wawrinka grits his teeth, trusts in his forehand and holds to 30. Murray will serve to force a tie-break.

12.50pm BST

First set: Murray* 5-5 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray still has to hold to keep the set alive. It won’t be if he flounders on serve again. But he doesn’t need me to tell him that. A big forehand down the line makes it 30-0. Wawrinka tries a drop shot during a gruelling rally. But it’s an obvious one. Murray reads it and makes it. 40-0. Wawrinka slips when returning, meaning Murray’s able to hold to love.

12.46pm BST

First set: Murray 4-5 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Serving for the set, Wawrinka begins with his 10th forehand error. He missed it by a fair old distance. For a moment, it seems Murray’s heading for a 0-30 lead. But a forehand that looked like it was going to be a winner clips the tape and drifts wide. Wawrinka’s still making errors too, however, and another one makes it 15-30. Murray can’t pull clear. His backhand return off a second serve drifts long. But Wawrinka wallops another forehand wide! It’s a break point for Murray, a lifeline. Can he take it? He can! He produces some phenomenal, scurrying defending behind the baseline to hoist a Wawrinka back into play with a deep lob and you know what’s coming next – another dismal forehand from the third seed, who will be furious with himself after that game.

12.42pm BST

First set: Murray* 3-5 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray plants a forehand to the right for 15-0, but two errors make it 15-30. “Allez, allez, allez,” Wawrinka says. This is a big moment in the first set. Murray’s relieved to see Wawrinka net a backhand return off a bouncing second serve. A big serve down the middle makes it 40-30. But a third forehand miss takes the game to deuce and Murray, increasingly all over the shop here, is facing his first break point after his first break point. Wawrinka’s bouncing up and down on the spot. But the net comes to Murray’s rescue again. Wawrinka fires a backhand down the line, but it never makes it as far as Murray. Yet Murray still has work to do and Wawrinka, scenting blood, pounces on a short ball with a monstrous forehand, bringing up a second break point. Murray nets a first serve. They rally off the second. Murray tries a drop shot. That doesn’t work. He approaches the net. But the forehand’s poor, enabling Wawrinka to whip a pass from right to left for the first break! He’ll serve for the set. What a poor game from Murray.

12.32pm BST

First set: Murray 3-4 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Wawrinka slaps a forehand into the net for 0-15. That shot does damage on the next three points, however, Murray unable to resist Wawrinka’s power. Wawrinka’s looking strong. Sometimes it’s though he doesn’t realise his own strength, however. He overhits a forehand for 40-30, then sprays another one long to allow Murray to deuce. But Murray can’t eke out a break point. Wawrinka finds some accuracy and holds.

12.26pm BST

First set: Murray* 3-3 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Murray rattles through three excellent points to lead 40-0. He holds to love thanks to a superb second serve.

12.22pm BST

First set: Murray 2-3 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Murray mishits a backhand, allowing Wawrinka to romp forward and spank a forehand to the left for 15-0. Then he completely balloons a backhand to make it 30-0. Wawrinka shows him how it’s done, flaying a backhand from left to right for 40-0, ripping another down the line to hold to love. This is building nicely.

12.20pm BST

First set: Murray* 2-2 Wawrinka (*denotes server): There are still plenty of empty seats in the stands, which is utterly pathetic. Imagine not turning up on time for this, a grand slam semi-final between the world No1 and the world No3. They’re both at a high level already. Murray makes it 30-0 with a spinning drop shot. Wawrinka makes it 30-15 with a rollocking forehand. At 40-15, Murray takes a high ball out of the air with a swinging forehand – but he sends it straight to the Wawrinka backhand, which isn’t the greatest of ideas. Instead of an easy hold, suddenly Murray’s under pressure for the first time when Wawrinka brutalises a second serve, forcing deuce. He finds his serve again, however, and holds.

12.14pm BST

First set: Murray 1-2 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): Murray wins his first point on the Wawrinka serve, the Swiss pulling a forehand wide for 0-15. A couple of Wawrinka errors on the forehand side sees the game go to 30-all and Murray carves out a break point with a fine backhand drop shot. Wawrinka comes to the net. Murray tries to beat him with a couple of lobs, but he can’t get enough purchase on either, allowing Wawrinka to smash effectively for deuce. He holds with a forehand winner.

12.09pm BST

First set: Murray* 1-1 Wawrinka (*denotes server): Wawrinka has started confidently, but he allows Murray to take a 40-15 lead after three errant forehands. Murray holds with a clever forehand back behind Wawrinka.

12.06pm BST

First set: Murray 0-1 Wawrinka* (*denotes server): With the sun peeking out from behind the clouds, Stan Wawrinka begins the first men’s semi-final with an ace out wide. Andy Murray has a look at the mark, but it’s good, and so’s a backhand down the line for 30-0. Murray attacks on the next point, but he doesn’t do enough with a forehand approach and Wawrinka crashes a forehand pass out of reach for 40-0 before holding to love.

11.56am BST

Tok! Tok! Tok! They’re knocking up. Stan Wawrinka won the toss and elected to serve first.

11.53am BST

Here they come, walking out on to Philippe-Chatrier. It’s far from full at the moment, but the fans should turn up soon.

11.41am BST

Stan Wawrinka has hit 70 forehand winners and 36 backhand winners so far. Andy Murray’s defence will have to be impeccable.

11.39am BST

Andy Murray has made it this far by beating Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0, Martin Klizan 6-7, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6, Juan Martin del Potro 7-6, 7-5, 7-0, Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and Kei Nishikori 2-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-1.

Stan Wawrinka has made it this far by beating Jan Kovalik 6-2, 7-6, 6-3, Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 7-6, 7-5, Fabio Fognini 7-6, 6-0, 6-2, Gael Monfils, 7-5, 7-6, 6-2 and Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.

8.25pm BST

Hello. What might seem certain one day won’t necessarily be the case the next, whether in life, politics or sport. Things change. Events occur. You go running through a field of wheat. You come out the other side a different person.

A year ago, Novak Djokovic was untouchable at the top of the men’s game, the ruler of the tennis universe, the holder of all four slams, the destroyer of Andy Murray’s hopes and dreams; he was the unforgiving cyborg who made Murray wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night. Now he’s walking through the streets in dirty clothes, swigging from a carton of milk, and he hasn’t shaved for days. He’s stuffing his face with gluten. He’s a busted flush.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jun/09/french-open-semi-finals-murray-wawrinka-nadal-thiem

Jun 07

Andy Murray beats Kei Nishikori in four sets, Thiem beats Djokovic at French Open – as it happened

Andy Murray set up a semi-final with Stan Wawrinka after a gritty 2-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-1 win, Dominic Thiem will play Rafael Nadal after destroying Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep fought back from the brink to reach the last four

8.06pm BST

Related: Novak Djokovic needs a new coach with Andre Agassi absent, says Boris Becker

7.20pm BST

Related: Novak Djokovic crashes out of French Open to Dominic Thiem

Related: Andy Murray rallies to overcome Kei Nishikori to reach semi-finals

6.18pm BST

Andy Murray’s semi-final opponent on Friday will be Stan Wawrinka, just as it was last year. He was absolutely superb that day, beating the 2015 champion in four sets, and he leads their head-to-head 10-7. Wawrinka’s your man for the big occasion, however, and predicting that one isn’t easy. The US Open champion was outstanding against Marin Cilic on Suzanne-Lenglen, dropping only seven games in an hour and 39 minutes. Murray will need to improve on today’s performance against an occasionally inspired Kei Nishikori, although he always looked the likelier winner from the second set onwards. And in any case, reaching another semi-final here is a grand achievement bearing in mind his struggles before arriving in Paris. In the other semi, it’ll be Rafa Nadal against Dominic Thiem. First of all, however, we have the women’s semi-finals tomorrow. Jelena Ostapenko and Timea Bacsinszky, followed by Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep. John Ashdown will be in the hotseat. That’s all from me for now. Thanks for reading and commenting. Bye!

6.09pm BST

Andy Murray speaks. “I needed to start putting more pace on my shots. He was dictating in the first set and making me move a lot. I think [Stan Wawrinka] has played fantastic this tournament so far. He was playing great last year and I had to play one of my best clay court matches to win.”

6.06pm BST

Serving for the match, Murray rams a backhand down the line for 30-0. Nishikori, mustering belated resistance, taps a volley out of reach for 30-15, but he nets a forehand return to give Murray two match points. Murray only needs one. He swings a serve out wide and Nishikori, utterly drained, can do nothing with a forehand return. He’s through to his fifth semi-final here. It’ll be his 21st grand slam semi-final overall.

6.03pm BST

Fourth set: Murray 2-6, 6-1, 7-6, 5-1 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Nishikori is effectively serving to stay in the match here. But he’s running out of steam. He butchers two forehands and nets a backhand to make it 0-40. He pulls it back to 30-40, but Murray decides he’s had enough, crashing a forehand return off a second serve. Nishikori, flailing and sinking, blocks wide.

5.58pm BST

Fourth set: Murray* 2-6, 6-1, 7-6, 4-1 Nishikori (*denotes server): Murray consolidates the break with a stress-free hold to love. He’s found his serve.

5.57pm BST

Fourth set: Murray 2-6, 6-1, 7-6, 3-1 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Trailing 0-15, Nishikori ties himself up in knots. Murray hangs a high ball into the air. Nishikori smashes straight back at him. Murray bangs a forehand at him, jamming Nishikori, who nets a volley for 0-30, and it’s 15-40 when the eighth seed clips a forehand wide. Nishikori saves the first, carefully watching another high ball before putting a brave smash away. Then, some absurdity. Murray drop shots. Nishikori dinks. The ball ends up being lofted over Murray. But he scampers back and lifts another lob over Nishikori. A short baseline rally ensues, but Nishikori swiftly ends it by knocking a backhand down the line wide. Murray breaks. He’s won three straight games since being broken.

5.51pm BST

Fourth set: Murray* 2-6, 6-1, 7-6, 2-1 Nishikori (*denotes server): With an almost Gallic wave, Murray drop shots to perfection – and to the point of extravagance – to lead 15-0. Another drop shot’s far too predictable, however, and Nishikori makes it 15-all with a smash. The next two points are shared as well. Nishikori’s remembering New York. He’s remembering that he’s done this before. Murray makes it 40-30, volleying proficiently, but drop shotting is a decent ploy from Nishikori, who forces deuce. However Murray hammers an ace down the middle – his second of the match – and another out wide to seal a gritty hold.

5.46pm BST

Fourth set: Murray 2-6, 6-1, 7-6, 1-1 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Murray hangs his head after netting a forehand to make it 30-all. More muttering, more chuntering. He really doesn’t like his legs today. Nishikori proceeds to make it 40-30, whistling a backhand down the line and winning the point with a forehand down the opposite flank, but the game goes to deuce after a lengthy rally. Murray has a break point when Nishikori steers a volley wide. Murray has a break when Nishikori plonks a forehand wide.

5.40pm BST

Fourth set: Murray* 2-6, 6-1, 7-6, 0-1 Nishikori (*denotes server): Before anyone writes off Nishikori, it’s worth remembering that he beat Murray from this position in New York last year. It’s not over yet. Especially with Murray still in the kind of erratic form that sees him double-fault for 15-30. Nishikori, breathing fire again, makes it 30-40 with a forehand winner, much to Murray’s chagrin, and he takes it, making good use of a net cord to win the rally with a backhand from left to right. It’s limp stuff again from Murray, who was so dominant in the tie-break.

5.33pm BST

Third set tie-break: Murray* 7-0 Nishikori (*denotes server): Murray only needs one. Nishikori nets a forehand return and angrily chucks his racket to the floor. After a bizarre set, Murray’s a set away from another semi-final with Stan Wawrinka, who’s clobbered Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.

5.32pm BST

Third set tie-break: Murray* 6-0 Nishikori (*denotes server): Nishikori nets a backhand after failing to do enough with a smash. Murray has six set points.

5.31pm BST

Third set tie-break: Murray 5-0 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Nishikori pulls a backhand wide. This has run away from him quickly.

5.30pm BST

Third set tie-break: Murray 4-0 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Nishikori, blinking in the sun, double-faults.

5.29pm BST

Third set tie-break: Murray* 3-0 Nishikori (*denotes server): Nishikori wallops a forehand return long.

5.29pm BST

Third set tie-break: Murray* 2-0 Nishikori (*denotes server): Nishikori nets an attempted backhand down the line.

5.28pm BST

Third set tie-break: Murray 1-0 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Nishikori sends a forehand horribly long. What does it all mean?

5.27pm BST

Third set: Murray* 2-6, 6-1, 6-6 Nishikori (*denotes server): Nishikori broke back immediately when he dropped his serve midway through this set. If he can’t do that again here, he’ll have a mountain to climb. Perhaps his biggest hope is that Murray’s focus drops again. There’s every chance, evidence of which arrives when he duffs a crosscourt backhand drop shot into the net for 0-15. Soon it’s 0-30. Nishikori mishits a return, but it drops in and he forces Murray to net a forehand. It was never going to be simple, was it? Sure enough, Nishikori earns two break points with a savage backhand down the line, Murray stumbling as he tries to reach it. Nishikori promptly turns up the heat and Murray overcooks a forehand. Ouch.

5.21pm BST

Third set: Murray 2-6, 6-1, 6-5 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Nishikori has noticeably been trying to shorten points in the past five or 10 minutes, but he begins this game with a wretched drop shot to make it 0-15. Then comes another error, a wild forehand that flies off to the right, making it 0-30. This is a wonderful chance for Murray, who seizes two break points when he steps inside the baseline and pummels a forehand into the left corner. Nishikori’s backhand dribbles into the net. Another rally ensues, but Nishikori wilts, netting another backhand. Murray breaks. He’ll serve for the third set.

5.17pm BST

Third set: Murray* 2-6, 6-1, 5-5 Nishikori (*denotes server): Serving to stay in the set, Murray makes it 15-0 with his first ace. Decent timing. He holds to love with a backhand pass. Time for some new balls.

5.14pm BST

Third set: Murray 2-6, 6-1, 4-5 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Nishikori judges a high ball well and plants a smash in an unreachable spot to lead 15-0. When he tries to serve and volley, Murray sees him coming and wins the point with a low backhand return, but Nishikori makes it 30-15 by doing just enough with a volley. Murray was almost there. But Nishikori pulls clear. He approaches the net at 40-15, but Nishikori picks his spot with a backhand down the line. Murray, who led by a break 15 minutes ago, will serve to stay in the set.

5.11pm BST

Third set: Murray* 2-6, 6-1, 4-4 Nishikori (*denotes server): Murray drop shots. It’s not particularly good. But Nishikori does nothing with his riposte and Murray lobs him. He wins the point with a smash for 15-0. From there, he holds to love, polishing it off with another smash.

5.07pm BST

Third set: Murray 2-6, 6-1, 3-4 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Rejuvenated and needlessly encouraged, Nishikori wins the first point with a forehand winner. A cleverly disguised drop shot makes it 40-0 and he holds to love after a late call on a Murray backhand. Murray has to be careful now. He’s in danger of chucking this set away.

5.05pm BST

Third set: Murray* 2-6, 6-1, 3-3 Nishikori (*denotes server): Murray wafts a forehand wide to make it 0-15 before an errant drop shot makes it 15-30. Murray sighs. He knows that was the wrong shot. And this is dreadful, a gimme of a volley that flies wide to hand Nishikori two break points. Murray’s furious, Nishikori’s clenching his fist. Murray saves the first, driving a backhand from left to right, but he pulls a forehand wide on the second. That is shocking from the world No1.

5.00pm BST

Third set: Murray 2-6, 6-1, 3-2 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Murray cracks a backhand return down the line, causing Nishikori to net a backhand for 0-15. Murray’s intensity is rising. Nishikori nets a forehand to make it 0-30. Another one makes it 0-40. He fights back to 15-40, but Murray doesn’t have to wait long for him to balloon a backhand. Murray breaks. Stan Wawrinka is two sets to the good, meanwhile. The Swiss leads 6-3, 6-3 against Marin Cilic.

4.56pm BST

Third set: Murray* 2-6, 6-1, 2-2 Nishikori (*denotes server): On Eurosport, the estimable Mats Wilander is still concerned for Murray. He reckons he still looks sluggish. More passive hitting allows Nishikori to wallop a forehand to the left for 15-all and Murray’s fifth double-fault makes it 15-30. Wilander’s argument is gaining traction. “He’s boiling inside now, Murray,” Wilander says. So he drags Nishikori forward with a drop shot and drills a backhand down the line for 30-all. He holds with another drop shot. Nishikori slipped, but he probably wasn’t making that anyway.

4.51pm BST

Third set: Murray 2-6, 6-1, 1-2 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Nishikori finds the line with a forehand. Murray’s annoyed with his poor return, so he smacks his legs with his racket. They can consider themselves warned. But Nishikori, playing more like he did in the first set, holds to 15 with a canny drop shot.

4.47pm BST

Third set: Murray* 2-6, 6-1, 1-1 Nishikori (*denotes server): On Suzanne-Lenglen, Stan Wawrinka is a set and a break up against Marin Cilic. There’s a chance the 2015 champion will be back in the locker room before this one’s done. Although this is a speedy game, Murray holding to 15 without much of a fuss.

4.43pm BST

Third set: Murray 2-6, 6-1, 0-1 Nishikori* (*denotes server): This has been a speedy match so far: the first set of Djokovic-Thiem took longer to settle than these first two sets. Nishikori begins the third with a hold to 15. He looked sharper in that game.

4.38pm BST

Looking for set points, Nishikori makes Murray wait, chopping a backhand volley past him to make it 30-15. But Murray grabs them with a backhand drop shot, a skill that eluded him at the start of the match. Nishikori saves the first with a backhand return down the line, only to weakly net a forehand.

4.34pm BST

Second set: Murray 2-6, 5-1 Nishikori* (*denotes server): The first two points are shared. For the first time, there’s a hint of weariness about Nishikori, who’s starting to miss. Murray will home in on any sign of physical weakness and he earns two break points with rhythmic hitting from the baseline. Nishikori saves the first with a searing forehand, but he decides to leave a Murray backhand at the last – and the ball drops just inside the baseline!

4.28pm BST

Second set: Murray* 2-6, 4-1 Nishikori (*denotes server): Looking to consolidate the break, Murray begins the game by netting a forehand. He could do with the umpire telling him his beard’s rubbish here. Or that he’s the worst dresser on tour. Especially when a double-fault makes it 15-30. Now he’s complaining about something, possibly the overhead camera, and he’s relieved to see Nishikori blooter a forehand long for 30-all. But Nishikori attacks off a second serve and earns a break point, only to offer Murray a target down the middle with a second serve. Nishikori stretches and knocks a forehand long, but he has another chance when Murray, still agitated by the overhead camera, double-faults for the fourth time. Nishikori has a chance with a backhand down the line, his trademark weapon, but he misfires, drilling it into the net. It’s a huge let-off for Murray, whose returning serve allows him to hold at last. He’s still out of sorts, but he is ahead in this set.

4.22pm BST

Second set: Murray 2-6, 3-1 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Nishikori produces the first ace of the match – with a second serve. Blimey. But Murray’s on him here and Nishikori proceeds to miss two backhands for 15-30. Murray’s doing lots of come-onning and he earns his first break points of the match when a superb defensive lob forces Nishikori to smash way long. That’s the cue for Nishikori to double-fault. On Suzanne-Lenglen, meanwhile, Stan Wawrinka has won the first set of his quarter-final against Marin Cilic 6-3.

4.17pm BST

Second set: Murray* 2-6, 2-1 Nishikori (*denotes server): Nishikori misses a forehand by a couple of inches, making it 15-0, but he’s the one in control of the rally again. Murray realises he has to step in. He punishes a short return with a rare forehand winner for 30-0. He looks in control at 40-0. Nishikori makes him nervy by winning the next two points, though. Let back into the game, he takes the chance to force deuce, driving through that forehand again. Murray’s struggling with the sun here. For the second time, he’s given a warning for a time violation, meaning he loses his first serve. He isn’t happy. Nishikori proceeds to miss a return. “Let’s go!” Murray yelps. “Come on!” The umpire might just have woken Murray up. “Aaaaahhhhh,” he cries as he holds with a forehand. The crowd’s come alive too.

4.09pm BST

Second set: Murray 2-6, 1-1 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Murray drops another forehand short, allowing Nishikori to pummel a backhand down the line for 15-0. Soon it’s 40-0. Nishikori slaps a forehand down the line for a hold to love.

4.06pm BST

Second set: Murray* 2-6, 1-0 Nishikori (*denotes server): As good as Nishikori was, Murray’s the world No1 – and he was far too passive and reactive in the first set. There was no fizz on his forehand at all. He has to force the issue more. But Nishikori is still in charge, spanking a forehand away for 30-all. He’s bullying Murray at times. Murray sends out a message with his quickest serve of the match so far and he holds to 30 when Nishikori misses a smash.

4.00pm BST

Up by two breaks, Kei Nishikori has a healthy cushion as he serves for the first set. He leads 30-0 when Murray pulls two backhands wide. He has three set points when Murray, on the run, spins on a sixpence, only to hoist a forehand well wide, and he takes the first with a gossamer drop shot. What a wonderful set of tennis from Nishikori!

3.57pm BST

First set: Murray* 2-5 Nishikori (*denotes server): Murray wins the first point, but Nishikori comes charging back with a brilliant backhand for 15-all, and it’s 15-30 when Murray misses a forehand by a wide margin. Nishikori’s got him on the run here. His forehand’s singing. Murray’s facing two break points – they’re effectively set points – after more fearsome hitting from Nishikori, who takes the first with another superb forehand winner. This has been outstanding stuff from the Japanese star, who will serve for the first set, but pretty rotten from Murray, who’s being thoroughly outplayed. He isn’t offering much and looks very tight.

3.52pm BST

First set: Murray 2-4 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Nishikori is playing punchy tennis, with his vicious backhand causing Murray plenty of problems. It’s not long before it’s 30-0. Murray has to battle. Nishikori gives him hope with a stinker of a drop shot for 30-15 and an overhit forehand for 30-all. Nishikori opts for a drop shot again. It comes off this time, taking Murray by surprise – that’s a tactic that bore fruit in New York – and Nishikori holds with an explosive forehand.

3.47pm BST

First set: Murray* 2-3 Nishikori (*denotes server): Murray finally makes a drop shot, moving into a 30-0 lead, before a pinpoint forehand makes it 40-0. He holds to 15.

3.43pm BST

First set: Murray 1-3 Nishikori* (*denotes server): Murray balloons a backhand return for 15-0. He tries to construct the next point carefully, but Nishikori generates power with a deep backhand that forces a rushed Murray to hit long for 30-0. He makes more errors to hand Nishikori the game to love. It’s been a strangely sloppy start from the world No1.

3.39pm BST

First set: Murray* 1-2 Nishikori (*denotes server): This is tense stuff at the moment. Both men are defending and moving sharply, while there’s venom in the groundstrokes. But there are also errors off the backhand side and Murray finds himself trailing 15-30. A double-fault hands Nishikori two break points. Murray’s given a warning for a time violation. Then he saves the first break point, Nishikori netting a backhand off a bouncing second serve, but Murray’s serve’s all over the place here. Another double-fault is a gift for Nishikori. Well, that was careless.

3.34pm BST

First set: Murray 1-1 Nishikori* (*denotes server): The first two points are shared. Then Murray motors through the gears, rapping a diagonal forehand deep to the right. Nishikori’s stranded as Murray advances to put a forehand to the left for 15-30. Under pressure, Nishikori wins the next two points, the first with a smash, the second with a pinpoint backhand. He holds when Murray nets a drop shot – not for the first time.

3.29pm BST

First set: Murray* 1-0 Nishikori (*denotes server): It’s the world No1 who gets the match underway, beginning with a dink over the net for 15-0. Nishikori hits back with a rasping forehand down the line, so Murray produces one of his own. The game moves to 40-30, both men in the mood early on. Murray holds when Nishikori nets a backhand.

3.23pm BST

Svitolina was 6-3, 5-1 up. Ouch. Halep will play Karolina Pliskova next.

3.17pm BST

The players are out. They’ll be underway soon. Nishikori has had a tricky time making it this far. He was taken to five sets over the course of two days by Hyeon Chung in the third round and was on the wrong end of a bagel in the first set of his previous match against Fernando Verdasco before winning in four. His legs might be rather heavy. Nishikori has had a few injury problems recently.

3.15pm BST

That was the second five-setter these two played last year. Murray came out on top when they met in the Davis Cup in March, winning 7-5, 7-6, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3. He also got revenge for his New York setback by coming back from a set down to beat the eighth seed in London and leads their head-to-head 8-2.

3.13pm BST

Next on Philippe-Chatrier: Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori. It’s their first grand slam quarter-final since… the US Open. Murray should have won that one. Murray being Murray, though, he managed to make life absurdly difficult for himself and ended up losing in five sets. “What had looked like a quick night’s work for the world No2 descended into a pain-filled struggle, one marred by controversy, a stray butterfly and his own inability to counter his opponent’s artful play,” Kevin Mitchell wrote. “Murray will remember it for many ups and downs, not least the let and replayed point called against him in the fourth set – the result of an electrical malfunction in the court’s sound system that set off a loud, distracting noise – which seriously unsettled him and contributed significantly to a dramatic loss of focus and, ultimately, the match.”

Related: Andy Murray dumped out of US Open by Kei Nishikori in five-set battle

3.07pm BST

In another one for the Life of the Mind volumes, Simona Halep has helped herself to two breaks in the decider. She leads 3-6, 7-6, 3-0. Poor Elina Svitolina doesn’t know what to do.

3.03pm BST

Pliskova quickly skips into a 0-30 lead, attacking a tame second serve with a confident forehand return. That one’s not coming back. At 15-30, Pliskova draws Garcia to the net. One volley comes back. But Pliskova cleverly goes for a backhand lob to earn two match points. A big forehand down the line penetrates Garcia’s defences. Pliskova lines up a second one and picks her spot with precision. That’s it. Caroline Garcia’s fine tournament comes to a disappointing end, but she receives generous applause from the crowd as she leaves the court.

2.57pm BST

Thanks to Tom for stepping in. It’s been eventful. On Philippe-Chatrier, Karolina Plislova is a game away from the last four. Caroline Garcia will serve at 6-7, 4-5.

2.54pm BST

Thrilling tennis agains as Halep claws it back to level the match. Svitolina had looked down and rattled in the early stages of her previous service game but she’s pulled things together a little now and she changes ends in the tiebreak a mini-break up at 4-2, but a string of errors helps Halep go 5-4 up before another stunning winner down the line steadies things. Another forehand winner at the net delivers match point, which Halep retrieves with a delicate but brilliant low winner down the line. They change over again at 6-6. An overhit high forehand sails out wide to give Halep her fifth set point, which she wins in fortuitous fashion, a low forehand clipping the net before dobbling over to level the match at one set all.

Phew. At which point I’ll hand you back to Jacob. Don’t go anywhere.

2.45pm BST

Svitolina holds for 6-6. Brutal and brilliant this, from both players at different times. Halep traces into a 0-4 lead to gain three set points. The first is saved well after a long rally that Svitolina refuses to yield in; another is retrieved when Halep overhits, and after another brilliant rally dominated by the Romanian she undoes her good work with an unforced error that brings it back to deuce. Another set point is earned with a punishing backhand volley at the net. Again she can’t make it after a dizzyingly long rally is ended by Svitolina’s pinpoint back-of-court forehand passing shot, and Svitolina goes on to hold and take us into a tiebreak.

Over on Philippe-Chatrier it’s gone with serve in the second set so far, with Pliskova 3-2 up and one set up against Garcia.

2.37pm BST

Another compelling game between Svitolina and Halep goes to deuce – the high point of which is probably an incredible stretched dipping forehand winner from Halep from out wide down the line. It gives her the platform to hold and lead 6-5, having been 1-5 down.

On Philippe-Chatrier it’s similarly close-fought, 1-1 in the second set between Garcia and Pliskova.

2.33pm BST

Halep breaks back again! Brilliant fighting spirit from the No3 seed. Svitolina’s attempted forehand winner is just over the line for 0-15, and is then given a good working round the back of the court before overhitting beyond the base line for 0-30. A brilliant return gives Halep three back points, the first of which is retrieved with an easy winner at the net, but Halep takes the break with a fierce crosscourt forehand – it’s 5-5 in this set and all to play for.

2.28pm BST

Svitolina hasn’t been fazed by being broken in the previous game, and returns with style and tenacity to take Halep’s service game to three deuces in a game of several testing long rallies before the Romanian holds. She now trails 4-5, still a break down, but not going quietly.

2.25pm BST

Pliskova earns three set points, and only needs one, a precision backhand down the line, to win the first set after an hour and a quarter. Gripping stuff.

2.23pm BST

Halep holds to love and then breaks Svitolina but she needs another one. It’s 3-5 in the second set.

Garcia overhits a forehand out wide to the left of the court to give Pliskova a mini-break at in the tiebreak, which is followed by a double-fault for 1-4. Garcia, though, hits back, winining the next two points brings it back to 3-4.

2.18pm BST

Garcia v Pliskova first set goes to a tie-break after Pliskova holds. Really hard to call, this one.

A fine instinctive volley at the net keeps Halep in Svitolina’s service game at 40-30, but the authoritative Svitolina is not to be denied and moves into a 5-1 lead. Nearly there.

2.12pm BST

Over on Philippe-Chatrier, having battled her way back into it, Garcia struggles a tad on her next service game, which is a bit of an epic one – the match’s longest so far. She hands Pliskova a first chance to break when she sends a low drop shot into the net. Pliskova can’t capitalise on it though, against a fierce first serve, nor the next one that presents itself immediately – Garcia’s serve again delivering the goods when needed – but nor can the Frenchwoman easily finish off the game, which has seven deuces. A third break point is saved before Garica finally secures the hold to go 6-5 up.

While that one 15-minute game was going on, things have moved on apace on Suzanne-Lenglen, where Svitolina now leads 4-1, two breaks up, and is closing in on victory.

2.04pm BST

A couple of fierce forehand winners from the back of the court help Svitolina to a break point in the first game of the second set against Halep, which the No5 seed takes to seize an early initiative. Svitolina then holds to love to lead 2-0.

1.57pm BST

Garcia breaks back! Garcia, standing inside the lines, sends a brilliant instinctive forehand winner across the court to earn a break point but Pliskova retrieves it after a remarkable exchange at the net forces Garcia to net. The next break point is converted though, another stunning forehand return of serve. Momentum has shifted in this match and it’s 5-5.

1.53pm BST

A glorious backhand down the line from Halep puts her 0-30 ahead on Svitolina’s serve, but the Ukrainian claws it back and then sends a stunning backhand of her own whistling past her opponent to give her a set point, which she can’t capitalise on as Halep forces her into a mistake to bring it back to deuce. The second set point is taken however, as the No3 seed overhits her return.

1.50pm BST

There’s not been much between Garcia and Pliskova but an overhit Garcia forehand out wide hands Pliskova a break and set point, which is saved and the home hopeful goes on to hold. Clinging on still at 4-5.

Halep meanwhile holds again to cut the gap on Svitolina to two games, 3-5.

1.47pm BST

Halep breaks! Having squandered seven break points during this first set, Halep finally converts one at the eighth attempt. She needs another though, as she trails Svitolina 2-5, though she is at least hitting with more conviction now.

1.41pm BST

An easy forehand smash gives Svitolina break and set point against Halep, who this time saves it by dictating from the back of the court and inducing Svitolina to net a stretched return. But Svitolina continues to look in inspired form, and denies her opponent a chance to seal the game twice before the Romanian finally gets off the mark. 1-5

1.34pm BST

Garcia unleashes a strong advancing forehand winner against Pliskova’s serve but other than that the Czech serves with real authority to hold comfortably to 15 and move 4-2 up. Halep, meanwhile, is still having a tough old time of it, squandering two break points in a lengthy fifth game in the first set, which Svitolina wins to lead 5-0.

1.31pm BST

Garcia stays in touch with a hold to 30 to trail 2-3 against Pliskova, while Simona Halep is now 0-4 down against Svitolina.

1.27pm BST

World No3 (but second seed here due to Serena Williams being very pregnant) Karolina Pliskova has an early break over Caroline Garcia. She leads 3-1 in the first set.

Meanwhile, Elina Svitolina has raced to a 3-0 lead over Simona Halep, who up until this point has cruised through the tournament without dropping a set!

1.23pm BST

If you want to see how Thiem did it, here’s match point.

1.06pm BST

The second set of women’s quarter-finals will be underway shortly. On Philippe-Chatrier, home hopeful Caroline Garcia has arrived on court along with Karolina Pliskova, the world No3. On Suzanne-Lenglen, Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina are knocking up. That’s bound to be an excellent match. I’m going to step away for the time being. Please give a warm welcome to Tom Davies.

12.59pm BST

Asked if he wanna take a break from tennis:”Trust me,I’m thinking about many things right now”.Wow.Novak adds “But I have responsibilities”

12.59pm BST

Is Djokovic considering a break? Doesn’t rule it out but doesn’t know. “We’ll see” he says #RG17

12.57pm BST

It’s hard to comment on the third set. Nothing was going my way. Just a pretty bad set. All in all, it was decided in the first set. I tried, I lost that crucial break at the beginning of the second and he started serving better. He deserved to win. He was definitely the better player today. I guess he made it difficult. He has really heavy spin and he can play very quick. He has an all-round game. You can easily lose the rhythm, especially from the backhand corner. It was not there for me. Especially in the second part of the match, I was unable to hit the ball well. Many unforced errors. He was getting better as the match progressed. The last couple of tournaments I’ve had some great matches and it’s unfortunate to finish Roland Garros in this way. It’s a fact I’m not playing close to my best. But I’m trying. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This is a whole new situation I’m facing. Not to win a big tournament, it hasn’t happened for a couple of years. Every top player has gone through it. It’s a big challenge, but I’m up for it.”

How often have you seen Djokovic let a match be decided by losing the first set? This is new.

12.46pm BST

Will Andre Agassi stick around in Djokovic’s camp after this defeat? I think there have to be huge doubts about that relationship now.

12.38pm BST

This defeat means that Djokovic will slip to No3 in the rankings next week. This is the first time since 2010 that he’s failed to make the last four at Roland Garros.

12.33pm BST

Djokovic made 35 unforced errors in three sets. He was appalling. His head has gone.

Thiem crushes Djokovic 7-6, 6-3, 6-0.

Djokovic only bageled in final set ONCE before in 984 career matches (Nishikori, Basel 2011)#rg17

12.32pm BST

Dominic Thiem speaks. “It’s amazing for me. Before I had a 0-5 head-to-head against him. It was a dream. It was a little bit tricky today, there was wind and it was colder than previous days. It’s amazing how difficult it is to go deep in a grand slam because you have to play the best guys round after round and it’s not getting easier on Friday.”

He plays Rafael Nadal on Friday. It’s going to be Nadal’s toughest match of the tournament. Thiem, remember, is the only man to beat Nadal on clay in 2017. He’ll still be the underdog, but it will help him that he’s been able to get through this one so quickly.

12.29pm BST

A stunned silence has fallen over the court. The crowd can’t believe what they’re watching. Novak Djokovic, the ultimate fighter, has tanked a set. He’s being pulverised by Dominic Thiem, who seizes three match points when Djokovic makes yet another error. Djokovic being Djokovic, he finally musters some resistance, volleying stoutly at the net to make it 40-15. But it doesn’t last for long. Djokovic charges to the net. This time, Thiem slashes another wonderful backhand down the line to set up a semi-final with the great Rafael Nadal! Don’t write him off. He’s just demolished Novak Djokovic.

12.26pm BST

Third set: Djokovic* 6-7, 3-6, 0-5 Thiem (*denotes server): The wheels are coming off. “It looks like he doesn’t want to be on the court,” John McEnroe says, watching Djokovic net a weak forehand for 15-30. If he’s not careful, it’s going to be a bagel. At 30-all, he plonks a forehand long. This is grim viewing. Djokovic knocks a forehand wide and – do not adjust your screen or your eyesight or what’s in your drink – he is a game away from being bagelled.

12.22pm BST

Third set: Djokovic 6-7, 3-6, 0-4 Thiem* (*denotes server): On Europsot, Mats Wilander reckons Djokovic is in turmoil. Yep. As for Thiem, he’s on one. He lashes a forehand down the line to hold to love.

12.20pm BST

Third set: Djokovic* 6-7, 3-6, 0-3 Thiem (*denotes server): The Novak Djokovic of 2016 – the first half of 2016, that is – is nowhere to be seen. Three straight errors offer Thiem three break points on a silver platter. Djokovic promptly pulls a backhand wide. That was awful. Thiem breaks again. It would take quite an effort to lose from here.

12.17pm BST

Third set: Djokovic 6-7, 3-6, 0-2 Thiem* (*denotes server): Defending magnificently, Thiem manages to hurtle back and drop a forehand slice over the net. Taken by surprise, Djokovic isn’t ready and he knocks a drop shot wide for 15-0. He holds to 15, banging down an ace at 40-15.

12.14pm BST

Third set: Djokovic* 6-7, 3-6, 0-1 Thiem (*denotes server): And so here we are, Dominic Thiem two sets to the good against Novak Djokovic, a man he’s never beaten, the defending champion and the owner of 12 grand slam titles. Thiem races into a 0-30 lead. These are dangerous times for Djokovic. But this is what he plays for. He absorbs Thiem’s power at 15-30, drop shots and wins the duel at the net. He roars. The crowd love it. Then Djokovic misses a backhand down the line for the umpteenth time. It’s a break point. Thiem sends a backhand long, though, but he earns another chance with a stupendously executed backhand drop shot. Djokovic decides to approach the net off a second serve; Thiem shanks a backhand, but he finds the line with a forehand to earn a third chance, Djokovic foolishly stopping after seemingly thinking it was going out. The pressure tells on Djokovic. He nets a forehand and Thiem breaks. He’s getting closer.

12.06pm BST

This is perhaps the biggest service game of Thiem’s career to date. He begins it by flinging a backhand down the line for 15-0. Another one makes it 30-0. This is turning into a backhand battle. Djokovic comes up with a pearler when Thiem approaches the net. Thiem simply slams one down the line for two set points. How are your nerves, Dominic? Not so good, it seems – he wastes the first with a double-fault. But he calms down, serves wide and finds himself in the daunting but enviable position of being a set away from defeating Djokovic for the first time when the defending champion’s backhand return flies into the net!

12.02pm BST

Second set: Djokovic* 6-7, 3-5 Thiem (*denotes server): Djokovic holds to love. Thiem will serve for a two-set lead.

12.00pm BST

Second set: Djokovic 6-7, 2-5 Thiem* (*denotes server): Djokovic seems more engaged at the start of this game, returning with more intent, drawing errors from Thiem to lead 15-30. Thiem counters with a forehand winner down the line for 30-all, but then he knocks a backhand long to give Djokovic his first break point of this set. Thiem sends an awkward serve out wide, though, and Djokovic’s backhand return drifts long for deuce. From there, a mixture humongous serving and vicious forehanding takes Thiem over the line. He’s a game away from a two-set lead over the defending champion.

11.55am BST

Second set: Djokovic* 6-7, 2-4 Thiem (*denotes server): Djokovic holds comfortably. You know, it would be unwise to write him off.

11.51am BST

Second set: Djokovic 6-7, 1-4 Thiem* (*denotes server): Thiem’s got the bit between his teeth on serve now, charging into a 40-0 lead. He holds to love again.

11.49am BST

Second set: Djokovic* 6-7, 1-3 Thiem (*denotes server): Djokovic settles down a little, finally making a backhand down the line for 40-0. He holds to 15. He looked more threatening there.

11.46am BST

Second set: Djokovic 6-7, 0-3 Thiem* (*denotes server): “Right now,” the Eurosport commentator says, “Thiem seems to have this match won.” “No question,” John McEnroe replies. “He’s got some serious momentum.” And the Austrian holds to love. Djokovic isn’t in this game at all. Spiritually, he seems to have left the court. The body’s there, but what’s going through his head? This is very one-sided at the moment – but not in the way you’d expect. Saying that, no one’s better than Djokovic at pulling off an unfathomable escape.

11.43am BST

Second set: Djokovic* 6-7, 0-2 Thiem (*denotes server): Djokovic appears to be in control at 30-0. But Thiem makes it 30-15 with a commanding volley, before Djokovic nets another backhand down the line for 30-all. The game goes to deuce; you get the feeling Djokovic could beat himself here. A double-fault presents Thiem with a break point. A deep volley from Djokovic is just good enough, however, to force Thiem to lift a defensive lob wide. Inexplicably Djokovic splatters another backhand long to find himself facing a second break point, but Thiem nets a backhand. A forehand winner earns the increasingly aggressive Thiem a third opportunity, though and he takes this one! Djokovic goes for a drop shot, but Thiem tracks it down and craftily slices a backhand to the left, past Djokovic, who’s so surprised that he slips and falls heavily.

11.32am BST

Second set: Djokovic 6-7, 0-1 Thiem* (*denotes server): Thiem has to keep his foot on the accelerator here. At 0-30, he pulls level with two monstrous forehands. He holds to 30.

11.26am BST

First set tie-break: Djokovic* 5-7 Thiem (*denotes server): Djokovic incredibly nets an awful low backhand and the first set is Thiem’s! It’s Djokovic’s 17th unforced error! Dearie me, that was appalling from the champion.

11.25am BST

First set tie-break: Djokovic 5-6 Thiem* (*denotes server): A stunning backhand return from Djokovic and Thiem can only slice wide!

11.24am BST

First set tie-break: Djokovic 4-6 Thiem* (*denotes server): Djokovic needlessly nets a backhand and Thiem has two set points!

11.23am BST

First set tie-break: Djokovic* 4-5 Thiem (*denotes server): Djokovic loops a backhand wide.

11.23am BST

First set tie-break: Djokovic* 4-4 Thiem (*denotes server): Thiem misses a backhand down the line after a lengthy rally.

11.22am BST

First set tie-break: Djokovic 3-4 Thiem* (*denotes server): Djokovic nets a backhand.

11.21am BST

First set tie-break: Djokovic 3-3 Thiem* (*denotes server): A deep return from Djokovic draws an error from Thiem.

11.20am BST

First set tie-break: Djokovic* 2-3 Thiem (*denotes server): Djokovic misses a backhand down the line by a whisker!

11.19am BST

First set tie-break: Djokovic* 2-2 Thiem (*denotes server): Djokovic pulls a backhand wide.

11.19am BST

First set tie-break: Djokovic 2-1 Thiem* (*denotes server): Thiem nets a backhand.

11.18am BST

First set tie-break: Djokovic 1-1 Thiem* (*denotes server): Thiem’s first double-fault of the match comes at a bad time.

11.17am BST

First set tie-break: Djokovic* 0-1 Thiem (*denotes server): Thiem won their only previous tie-break 12-10 – that was at the World Tour Finals in London last November – and you suspect he has to win this one if he’s to stand a chance of reaching the last four. To that end, he starts with some huge tennis. He pummels the fuzz off the ball and forces Djokovic to block wide.

11.16am BST

First set: Djokovic 6-6 Thiem* (*denotes server): At 15-0, Djokovic pounces when Thiem plays a poor drop-shot, rapping a forehand away despite a little slip. But a powerful serve from Thiem makes it 30-15 and Djokovic has a wry smile on his face when a forehand from the Austrian drops just inside the line for 40-15. Djokovic nets a forehand and we’ll have a tie-break.Thiem won their only other o

11.12am BST

Carreno Busta has retired with a stomach injury. Nadal is into yet another French Open semi-final. He’ll be nice and rested. As for his eventual opponent…

11.11am BST

First set: Djokovic* 6-5 Thiem (*denotes server): The first two points are shared, Thiem nailing another backhand winner down the line from deep, Djokovic nowhere near it. It’s Djokovic’s turn to feel the nerves. He runs on to a loose ball, but scoops a forehand long for 15-30. Thiem can’t carve out a break point, though. Djokovic makes it 40-30 with a stunning backhand down the line and holds when Thiem blocks a forehand return wide.

11.08am BST

First set: Djokovic 5-5 Thiem* (*denotes server): Serving to stay in the set, Thiem brilliantly digs deep at 0-15 and seizes control of the rally with a beautifully angled forehand from right to left. He moves forward to slam another one down the line for 15-all. But Djokovic is raising his intensity. He pulls Thiem forward and cracks a backhad past him for 15-30. Thiem’s response is to hit harder and harder. But Djokovic is in wall mode and Thiem whacks a forehand wide to find himself facing two set points. Thiem holds his nerve, though, volleying brilliantly to save the first, scrambling to deuce when Djokovic nets a backhand return. Two more backhand misses from Djokovic and Thiem is a very relieved boy.

11.01am BST

First set: Djokovic* 5-4 Thiem (*denotes server): Djokovic restores some order on serve, holding to love. Thiem barely made a return. He’ll serve to stay in the set.

10.59am BST

First set: Djokovic 4-4 Thiem* (*denotes server): With the wind behind him, There are signs of Thiem regaining his earlier high level when he slaps three successive forehands down the line to lead 40-0. He holds to 15 when Djokovic lifts a forehand long.

10.55am BST

On Philippe-Chatrier, Pablo Carreno Busta has disappeared for treatment. Is there a cure for being Rafa’d?

10.55am BST

First set: Djokovic* 4-3 Thiem (*denotes server): Djokovic wins the first point, only to come up with two successive double-faults to trail 15-30. He’s still not right. He loses his balance as he wheels into a backhand, handing Thiem two break points. Thiem can’t take the first, but he only has to wait for Djokovic to waft a dismal forehand wide on the second. An erratic match.

10.52am BST

First set: Djokovic 4-2 Thiem* (*denotes server): Soaking up Thiem’s power, Djokovic draws a couple of errors from the Austrian to lead 0-30. This is a pivotal moment in the first set. Thiem drags a forehand wide to gift Djokovic two break points. Feeling the strain, he nets a forehand and Djokovic breaks. A wretched game. “If I were Thiem, I’d be disgusted with myself,” John McEnroe says on Eurosport. It’s hard to disagree.

10.47am BST

First set: Djokovic* 3-2 Thiem (*denotes server): The wind’s begining to pick up even more pace. Djokovic’s shirt’s fluttering. Thiem’s squinting as he tries to keep the sand out of his eyes. At 0-15, he should move into a 0-30 lead. Instead he nets a simple forehand. Djokovic proceeds to glide into a 40-15 lead after Thiem fails to make the most of a backhand at the net, but the Austrian clambers to 40-30 and forces deuce with a deft drop shot. That raises his spirits and he earns a break point, picking Djokovic off at the net with a gleaming crosscourt backhand pass. Another grinding rally ensues. Thiem’s the first to go big – but he lashes a forehand wide. He’s the one forcing the issue, though, and Djokovic is having problems emerging from this game unscathed. That’s mainly because Thiem’s found his range with the backhand down the line. But the Austrian can’t take advantage, overcooking a final backhand return. Djokovic holds at last and this has the makings of a classic at the moment. After more than half an hour, they’ve managed five games.

As for Rafa Nadal, he’s just taken the first set 6-2 against Pablo Carreno Busta. He’s been broken twice, but he’s far too strong for the 20th seed.

10.31am BST

First set: Djokovic 2-2 Thiem* (*denotes server): Thiem’s immediately under pressure after that break, a couple of scratchy errors making it 0-30. Another miss hands Djokovic three break points. Thiem saves the first, but nets a backhand on the second. Djokovic breaks straight back, Thiem unforgivably allowing his focus to dip.

10.28am BST

First set: Djokovic* 1-2 Thiem (*denotes server): A heavy backhand down the line from Thiem forces Djokovic to hit long for 0-15. Another blistering backhand makes it 0-30. Then Djokovic knocks a tame backhand into the net to hand Thiem three break points. Djokovic’s footwork is off. He decides to serve-volley. Thiem’s backhand pass swirls just wide, making it 15-30, and the Austrian can’t take the second break point either, sending a forehand return long. The next point’s an epic. Thiem tries a drop shot, but it’s not good enough. Djokovic slashes a forehand down the line. Thiem has a target. But his backhand’s read by Djokovic, who punches a volley away for deuce. Thiem keeps pressing, though, earning a fourth opportunity with an authoritative forehand. Then, a rally that looks like it will never end. It lasts for ever. They trade groundstrokes for a while. Then a change of pace, a series of slices that inevitably draw chuckles from the crowd. Until, finally, Djokovic blinks first, chops a backhand long and hands the first break to Thiem!

10.21am BST

First set: Djokovic 1-1 Thiem* (*denotes server): Thiem begins the game in sprightly fashion, whipping a forehand down the line for 15-0. Another forehand winner makes it 30-15. He holds to 15 with the minimum amout of fuss.

10.17am BST

First set: Djokovic* 1-0 Thiem (*denotes server): Novak Djokovic begins the serving and he wins the first point, gobbling up a short return with a powerful forehand. A curving ace down the middle takes him to 40-15. But back comes Thiem, dragging the game to deuce, only for Djokovic to scoop a cleverly disguised forehand from right to left. Djokovic holds when Thiem knocks a forehand long.

10.08am BST

Tok! Tok! Tok! They’re knocking up. Thiem’s in a green t-shirt with white sleeves and green shorts. He must be a Hibs fan.

10.04am BST

The players have emerged. There are whispers that Goran Ivanisevic, who split with Tomas Berdych at the start of the week, is joining Novak Djokovic’s team. He might even be in Djokovic’s box today. Keep your eyes peeled. You won’t spot Andre Agassi, though. He’s gone home.

10.00am BST

A dark cloud has moved over Roland Garros. The wind’s picking up. Oh.

9.56am BST

That head-to-head record, then. Djokovic and Thiem have met five times. Thiem has managed one set. It’s sunnier in Paris today as well, which might suit Djokovic. He’s not a huge fan of blustery, wet conditions, so yesterday’s bad weather might have been welcome from the world No2’s perspective.

11.40pm BST

Hello. The only thing that’s held up Rafael Nadal in Paris so far has been the weather. You have to respect nature, even if you are the king of clay, and there was nothing Nadal could do about the rain yesterday, which is why all four men’s quarter-finals have had to be squeezed into today’s schedule.

Not that rain-induced frustration should be overly damaging for Nadal, who is likely to mete out the kind of brutal treatment to Pablo Carreno Busta that another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut, suffered in the fourth round on Sunday. The nine-time champion is yet to come close to dropping a set, loves playing his fellow countrymen on clay and is producing tennis reminiscent of his astonishing peak, before a slew of injuries began to slow him down.

Related: Rafael Nadal says he is injury-free and focused for French quarter-final

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jun/07/french-open-djokovic-thiem-murray-nishikori-garcia-pliskova-live

Jun 05

French Open: Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka through to last eight – as it happened

Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Simona Halep reached the last eight with convincing wins at Roland Garros

6.52pm BST

That’s all from me today. Thanks for reading and commenting. John Ashdown will be on the blog with coverage of the first batch of quarter-finals tomorrow. Do join him. Bye!

6.51pm BST

The second seed has finally seen off the world No97. Veronica Cepede Royg, playing well above her ranking, runs out of steam and sends a backhand long on match point. She’s given Karolina Pliskova an almighty scare, but it’s the Czech who’s through to the last eight.

6.46pm BST

This match is ending on a farcical note. Two successive double-faults from Alize Cornet hand Caroline Garcia three match points! Garcia nets a backhand on the first. But then she clobbers a deep forehand from right to left and Cornet can’t get her forehand over the net! That’s it. Garcia is into the last eight and these two players who haven’t seen eye to eye in the past sportingly share a handshake and a smile at the net.

6.41pm BST

Serving for the match, Caroline Garcia double-faults to gift Alize Cornet two break points. What next? Another double-fault. Tragically woeful.

6.37pm BST

Caroline Garcia will serve for the match! Down 30-0, she’s let back in when Cornet double-faults. She earns a break point and celebrates when Cornet whacks a forehand long! She leads 6-2, 5-3.

6.32pm BST

There were signs that Caroline Garcia was beginning to feel the pressure and so it proves. She saves one break point but fails to close out the game, gives Cornet another look and promptly nets a backhand. Cornet’s back in the second set. She’ll serve at 3-4 .

6.29pm BST

Using her big serve, Pliskova saves two break points and holds for 3-all.

6.27pm BST

Karolina Pliskova looked in control on Suzanne-Lenglen after breaking early in the third set. But Veronica Cepede Royg is one tough cookie. She’s won three straight games to lead 3-2.

6.15pm BST

It keeps being said that Alize Cornet is tougher mentally than Caroline Garcia, but there’s no sign of the 28th seed crumbling yet. She holds to 15 to lead 6-2, 4-1.

6.06pm BST

And Pliskova does serve it out, swinging an ace out wide to level the match at a set apiece. As for our French chums, Caroline Garcia leads by a set and a break.

6.04pm BST

Cepede Royg broke with Pliskova serving for the second set and she held in the next game. But Pliskova has another chance to serve for it at 5-3.

5.56pm BST

Caroline Garcia probably really enjoyed this. She’s won the first set 6-2 against one of her least favourite opponents. Alize Cornet’s being outplayed.

5.46pm BST

It’s been an emphatic response from Karolina Pliskova in the second set. She leads 4-0.

5.41pm BST

Caroline Garcia breaks for 4-2 after a godawful volley from Alize Cornet. The French fans in the crowd aren’t sure who to support.

5.37pm BST

They’re still on serve in the French grudge match. Alize Cornet, her left thigh heavily strapped, is serving at 2-3.

5.28pm BST

Karolina Pliskova isn’t sure what’s just hit her. Veronica Cepede Royg, the world No97, has just swept away with the first set on Suzanne-Lenglen, dropping only two games. What a shock this would be, even though Pliskova isn’t comfortable on clay.

5.21pm BST

The girl sharapova is playing is going to be number one in the world one day caroline garcia, what a player u heard it here first

5.17pm BST

On Suzanne-Lenglen, world N097 Verónica Cepede Royg leads 4-1 in the first set against Karolina Pliskova, the second seed, while they’re underway in an all-French affair on Philippe-Chatrier. There’s no love lost between Caroline Garcia and Alize Cornet, though, a pair who aren’t on speaking terms after their recent Fed Cup spat.

4.54pm BST

Stan Wawrinka will play Marin Cilic in the last eight. He leads 11-2 in their head-to-head record.

4.52pm BST

After two tight sets, the third has flown by. Wawrinka quickly carves out two match points. He nets a volley on the first, though, and Monfils smashes a forehand down the line on the second, allowing him to close in and push a winner to the left for deuce. Wawrinka unwinds with his forehand to earn a third chance, though, and a pinpoint backhand finishes the job.

4.41pm BST

Monfils nets a forehand. Wawrinka breaks again. He’s two games away from a quarter-final against Marin Cilic.

4.39pm BST

Monfils is 2/13 on break points. He trails 7-5, 7-6, 3-1.

4.35pm BST

4.30pm BST

Kevin Anderson, who has been playing very well, has been forced to retire. It’s not clear why, but it’s a huge shame for a player who’s suffered from so many injuries in the past 18 months.

4.23pm BST

On Suzanne-Lenglen, Marin Cilic leads by a set and a break at 6-3, 1-0. The Croatian is finding weaknesses in Kevin Anderson’s serve.

4.21pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka* 9-7 Monfils (*denotes server): The wind teases and tortures both men. The ball does some extremely funny things in the air. Especially with a Monfils shot that looks to be heading wide before falling short. Wawrinka holds his nerve, though. He whacks the ball to the Monfils backhand before advancing to put a volley away to the right. Monfils can’t do anything about that! He might feel he ought to have won this set before it went to a tie-break, but he’s not been ruthless enough.

4.19pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka 8-7 Monfils* (*denotes server): Monfils smacks a serve down the middle. Is it an ace? The officials think otherwise. It’s wide, much to the crowd’s disappointment. A rally ensues. Wawrinka’s on top – and his heavy forehand to the right finds the line! It’s a fifth set point for the Swiss.

4.17pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka 7-7 Monfils* (*denotes server): Wawrinka blocks a forehand long! Monfils roars!

4.17pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka* 7-6 Monfils (*denotes server): Monfils pulls a crosscourt forehand wide. Wawrinka has a fourth set point.

4.15pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka* 6-6 Monfils (*denotes server): Wawrinka nets a forehand! He’s wasted three set points!

4.14pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka 6-5 Monfils* (*denotes server): Wawrinka sends a backhand wide.

4.14pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka 6-4 Monfils* (*denotes server): Wawrinka can’t take the first set point, netting a slice.

4.13pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka* 6-3 Monfils (*denotes server): Wawrinka flings a low backhand wide to the right.

4.12pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka* 5-3 Monfils (*denotes server): Monfils whacks a frustrated forehand long.

4.12pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka 4-3 Monfils* (*denotes server): Monfils gets lucky with a couple of volleys, but Wawrinka keeps pushing, nails a forehand into the corner and advances to smash.

4.10pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka 3-3 Monfils* (*denotes server): Monfils overpowers Wawrinka.

4.10pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka* 3-2 Monfils (*denotes server): Wawrinka sends a backhand miles long.

4.09pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka* 3-1 Monfils (*denotes server): Monfils cracks a forehand pass long.

4.08pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka 2-1 Monfils* (*denotes server): Monfils lifts a forehand just wide. He has a long debate with the umpire, but they might not be looking at the right mark. Hawkeye says it was out.

4.06pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka 1-1 Monfils* (*denotes server): Wawrinka belts a forehand long.

4.06pm BST

Second set tie-break: Wawrinka* 1-0 Monfils (*denotes server): After a grinding 26-shot rally, Monfils sends a backhand long.

4.04pm BST

Monfils has a 40-30 lead, but he’s tight, double-faulting. He clings on, though, and holds for a tie-break.

3.59pm BST

In a spot of bother at 15-30, Wawrinka is immensely grateful to see Monfils horribly mishit a forehand. It should have been a winner for two break points. Instead he misses by a mile and Wawrinka comes up with the goods for a hold to 30, taking him to 6-5. Will Monfils crack again?

3.55pm BST

Monfils holds to love. He fancies this.

3.52pm BST

I believe it was me who said that it wouldn’t be easy for Marin Cilic to break back against Kevin Anderson. He’s just broken to love.

3.52pm BST

After that medical time-out for Wawrinka, he’s moved into a 5-4 lead in the second set. The heat’s on Monfils as he prepares to serve.

3.48pm BST

Kevin Anderson, the genial South African, broke in the first game. He leads 2-1 in the first set and it won’t be easy for Marin Cilic to break back.

3.43pm BST

Wawrinka has called for the trainer. He’s having treatment on his lower back.

3.42pm BST

“Allez!” Wawrinka cries. He saves two more break points and holds for 4-3. Monfils is 2/12 on break points. He’s passive on the big points. You can tell which of these guys is a grand slam champion.

3.33pm BST

Over on Suzanne-Lenglen, Marin Cilic and Kevin Anderson have arrived. Cilic, the former US Open champion, is yet to drop a set, while Anderson has had a couple of fine, stout wins over two young hopefuls, Nick Kyrgios and Kyle Edmund, fighting back from a set down in each of them. Cilic leads their head-to-head 5-1, but they’re 1-1 on clay.

3.31pm BST

Wawrinka ties Monfils up with some treacherous loopers, the 2015 champion making good use of the wind to earn two break points. The Swiss is 100% on break points so far, but Monfils saves the first, whooshing a forehand down the line and a big serve cancels out the second too. He holds for 3-all.

3.27pm BST

Wawrinka seems convinced that Monfils won’t be solid enough to beat him. He’s not at his best, but he’s recovered each time he’s been broken. They’re back on serve in the second set, with Monfils about to serve at 2-3.

3.21pm BST

Nishikori’s reward is a quarter-final against Andy Murray, who he beat in the US Open last year. The eighth seed puffs out his cheeks after a Verdasco backhand flies long, confirming his win. He’s had a draining few days and he’s slumped in his chair on Suzanne-Lenglen, while Murray’s been resting up for the past two hours.

3.19pm BST

Oh, Fernando.

3.11pm BST

Wawrinka shanks a backhand horribly and Monfils breaks in the first game of the second set. There’s life in this one yet.

3.10pm BST

Tomorrow’s order of play is here.

3.08pm BST

Nishikori has crunched into a 4-0 lead in the fourth set on Suzanne-Lenglen. Is he going to bagel Verdasco?

3.04pm BST

“Oooh,” says the Eurosport commentator as Wawrinka sends an enormous forehand down the line to lead 15-30. That was ominous. The next rally’s huge. Somehow Monfils wins it. Out wide on the left, his stretching backhand clears the net – and then it dies on the dirt, Wawrinka completely befuddled. Was that the wind? And is this the wind? Monfils serves and volleys – but he punches an easy volley wide to give Wawrinka a set point. That’s so Monfils. So’s this: a double-fault. Lamentable, but Monfils is always liable to capitulate in that manner.

2.57pm BST

Wawrinka chucks away a 40-0 lead with some strange misses, but he finds an extra hold at deuce. He lashes a forehand down the line to hold for 6-5. Monfils will serve for a tie-break.

2.55pm BST

Nishikori breaks in the first game of the fourth set. If only tennis matches were only one set. Verdasco would have won so much.

2.53pm BST

Monfils quells the Wawrinka charge at a crucial important, holding from 0-15 to make it 5-all an keep the first set alive. Wawrinka is starting to welly the ball, though, and Monfils isn’t dominating in the way he was 20 minutes ago.

2.49pm BST

Kei Nishikori leads 0-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Suzanne-Lenglen. Some scoreline, eh? The eighth seed is a set away from a quarter-final against Andy Murray. Their last one was a classic in New York.

Related: Andy Murray dumped out of US Open by Kei Nishikori in five-set battle

2.45pm BST

Serving at 4-3, Monfils has gone over on his ankle, but wins the point to trail 15-30. Then he has a brain freeze. A Wawrinka return lands on the line, but Monfils thinks it’s heading out. He checks out of the rally and his forehand drifts long. Wawrinka only needs one break point, Monfils tamely netting a backhand. It’s 4-all.

2.39pm BST

Thanks to Rob for stepping in. On Suzanne-Lenglen, Kei Nishikori is mounting quite the fightback. The eighth seed has broken for a 5-3 lead in the third set. Where’s the Verdasco of the first set gone?

Related: Andy Murray marches into French Open quarter-finals after smooth success

2.37pm BST

Sublime returning from the Frenchman earns him another two break points. Wawrinka is being nothing if not steely and gets back to deuce but Monfils defends like a demon to force another opportunity, and benefits from a wild backhand from the Swiss. That’s the first break of the match and you can’t say it wasn’t coming. Monfils leads 3-2, and with that I’ll hand back to Jacob.

2.29pm BST

Nishikori and Verdasco are locked together at 3-3 in the third set of a match where the wind is causing mild havoc, the ball flying everywhere off the racket frames. At present Murray will not be too alarmed at the prospect of playing either in the last 16

2.25pm BST

A sluggish start from Wawrinka leaves him 15-40 down in the opening game, but he finds some rhythm to win four straight points to hold. Monfils holds to 15 before again pressurising the Wawrinka serve again. Two horrible mishits and a poor forehand into the net open the door for Monfils in the third game, but he fails to take any of his three break points and Wawrinka goes 2-1 up. He hasn’t lost a set in the tournament so far but he better liven up here if that’s not going to change.

2.09pm BST

Thanks Jacob. Wawrinka has been cruising through this tournament having won the Geneva Open title last weekend but Monfils is always a dangerous proposition, especially in the city where he was born. Monfils has had his fitness problems but Richard Gasquet’s withdrawal during their all-French match-up in the previous round bought him a bit of extra recovery time. Will it make any difference against the champion of two years ago? We’ll see. Wawrinka to serve first …

1.54pm BST

Time for me to grab some lunch. Rob Bleaney will step into the hotseat. Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils will be on court shortly.

1.53pm BST

Kei Nishikori has closed out that second set on Suzanne-Lenglen. The eighth seed has done well to recover from that horrific opening set.

1.48pm BST

Murray will play either Fernando Verdasco or Kei Nishikori in the last eight – Verdasco won the first 6-0, but Nishikori is about to serve for the second at 5-4.

1.46pm BST

Murray speaks again. “I wanted to try to change the pace of the shots a little because he is a big hitter. When the ball’s in the same place, he gets a good rhythm and is very powerful. It was pretty windy out there. But I hit the ball pretty well for the most part. You always have to expect guys to fight hard. This court is quite different to the ones we play on in Rome and Madrid. It’s quite big, it can get windy. It’s not easy to play on.”

1.42pm BST

Andy Murray speaks – but not about tennis. “Obviously there is terrible tragedy in London,” the world No1 says. “We had it also in Manchester six or seven days ago. Paris has had some problems in the last year or two. I’m sure everyone will join me in some thoughts and prayers with everyone who has been affected by this. It’s something that has affected large parts of Europe and all over the world and obviously we want things to keep getting better and we want everyone to keep coming out to support the tennis and thank you for creating a great atmosphere.”

1.39pm BST

Serving for the match, Murray finds himself trailing 0-15. So he cracks an ace down the middle, clips a forehand down the line and sees Khachanov make another error. After just over two hours, he has two match points. “Yep!” he cries after Khachanov whips a forehand wide. That’s it. Murray is through to the last eight. Slowly but surely, he’s improving.

1.34pm BST

Third set: Murray 6-3, 6-4, 5-4 Khachanov* (*denotes server): Khachanov was in a similar position in the second set, only to let himself down with a wretched service game. He starts this one more confidently, an ace making it 15-0. But Murray punches back with a forehand winner and a drop shot to make it 15-30. Murray goes for another drop shot. Khachanov’s on to this one, but Murray knows where his forehand’s going. Khachanov goes crosscourt, Murray sends a forehand down the line for two break points. This feels slightly predictable. The crowd enjoyed Khachanov breathing life back into the set, but they fall silent again when the Russian nets a backhand. Murray will serve for the match.

1.30pm BST

Third set: Murray* 6-3, 6-4, 4-4 Khachanov (*denotes server): At 15-all, Khachanov enjoys a slice of luck when a shot clips the top of the net and leaves Murray stranded. Murray manages to prod it back over, but Khachanov ruthlessly bodies him. Then Murray, weirdly flat, splutters a drop shot into the net to hand over two break points, before sending a backhand long. Khachanov breaks back!

1.25pm BST

Third set: Murray 6-3, 6-4, 4-3 Khachanov* (*denotes server): Khachanov wallops a swerving forehand out of reach to hold to love. He could have completely collapsed in this set, but he’s fighting hard instead. That spirit should serve him well in the future.

1.23pm BST

Third set: Murray* 6-3, 6-4, 4-2 Khachanov (*denotes server): Murray pings two identical backhand down the line to lead 30-0. He holds to 15.

1.18pm BST

Third set: Murray 6-3, 6-4, 3-2 Khachanov* (*denotes server): Khachanov wins a drop shot duel on the opening point. Murray gets his revenge with a drop shot-lob routine for 30-all. There’s an exhibition feel to this now. But Khachanov isn’t here to perform the role of a clown. He steels himself and holds to 30 with an ace.

1.14pm BST

Third set: Murray* 6-3, 6-4, 3-1 Khachanov (*denotes server): Murray’s first double-fault of the match makes it 30-all. Yet he does enough with some awkward loopers to move into a 40-30 lead and holds with an ace.

1.10pm BST

Third set: Murray 6-3, 6-4, 2-1 Khachanov* (*denotes server): Khachanov gets himself on the board with an excellent hold to love. The boy can play a bit. He’s just been too erratic. Erratic players don’t beat Andy Murray.

1.07pm BST

Third set: Murray* 6-3, 6-4, 2-0 Khachanov (*denotes server): On Suzanne-Lenglen, Fernando Verdasco has won the first set 6-0 against Kei Nishikori, who was on the wrong end of a bagel during his fourth-round win over Hyeon Chung as well. Murray, who easily holds to 15 in this game, plays the winner of that match. He beat Verdasco in straight sets here in 2014.

1.02pm BST

Third set: Murray 6-3, 6-4, 1-0 Khachanov* (*denotes server): Khachanov battled impressively in the first two sets considering his inexperience and youth, but he looks deflated at the start of the third. A double-fault makes it 0-30. An errant forehand makes it 0-40. He saves the first, although only after Murray returns a smash. Eventually Murray hoicks a lob wide. Khachanov saves the second break point as well and that perks him up. A piercing forehand into the right corner pushes Murray back again and he makes it deuce with an easy smash. Yet Murray keeps coming. He’s relentless. He earns a fourth chance when Khachanov wearily hooks a forehand wide. The Russian’s almost cooked here. He nets a backhand.

12.55pm BST

Murray plays it a bit too safe on the first point, allowing Khachanov to win a tentative rally with a monstrous forehand. Murray responds with an ace for 15-all. A body serve makes it 30-15 and Murray has two set points when Khachanov, flat-footed off a bouncing serve, knocks a backhand return wide. He only needs one. Khachanov nets a forehand and Murray’s a set away from the last eight.

12.50pm BST

Second set: Murray 6-3, 5-4 Khachanov* (*denotes server): At 30-all, Khachanov is made to run a lot by Murray. But he’s not a wooden mover. He hangs on, then seizes control with a low forehand from right to left. Murray nets on the run and Khachanov holds to 30 with an impudent drop shot. Murray will serve for a two-set lead. On Suzanne-Lenglen, meanwhile, Fernando Verdasco has an early break against Kei Nishikori.

12.46pm BST

Second set: Murray* 6-3, 5-3 Khachanov (*denotes server): Murray just has to wait for Khachanov to miss. He holds to 15.

12.42pm BST

Second set: Murray 6-3, 4-3 Khachanov* (*denotes server): This is what Khachanov doesn’t need: a backhand into the net on the first point of this game. Then he knocks a backhand long to make it 0-30, before double-faulting to give up two break points. This is a shocker. He saves the first with a big serve, but Murray proceeds to grind away with predictable consequences, Khachanov netting a backhand to drop his serve again. He’ll be desperately disappointed after expending so much effort dragging himself back into the set.

12.37pm BST

Second set: Murray 6-3, 3-3 Khachanov* (*denotes server): A tame Murray serve sits up invitingly for Khachanov to punch a backhand return to the left for a 0-15 lead. He responds by luring Khachanov forward, allowing him to scoop a ridiculously good lob over the Russian for 15-all, but then a slip causes him to mishit for 15-30. Murray’s focus has dipped. Another error hands Khachanov his first break point and Murray nets a forehand! “Come on!” Khachanov cries.

12.32pm BST

Second set: Murray 6-3, 3-2 Khachanov* (*denotes server): A relaxed hold for Khachanov. But it’s no good if he can’t find more consistency.

12.30pm BST

Second set: Murray* 6-3, 3-1 Khachanov (*denotes server): Murray loves a a target. He loves to lob a big man. Khachanov forgets that, produces a poor approach shot and watches helplessly and forlornly as a Murray backhand drifts over him for 30-0. Murray makes it 40-0 with his third ace and holds easily.

12.26pm BST

Second set: Murray 6-3, 2-1 Khachanov* (*denotes server): The first two points are shared. So are the next two. Khachanov is undermined by indiscipline at times. It’s what Murray does to you. He gifts the world No1 a break point by splurting a forehand long. Frustrated by Murray’s defensive qualities, he gives up the game with a double-fault.

12.22pm BST

Second set: Murray* 6-3, 1-1 Khachanov (*denotes server): Khachanov moves well for a man of his size. He reaches a Murray drop shot and wins the point with a dink of his own. It’s deuce. He’s pressing here. But Murray knuckles down with an ace down the middle and holds when Khachanov knocks a forehand return long.

12.18pm BST

Second set: Murray 6-3, 0-1 Khachanov* (*denotes server): On Suzanne-Lenglen, Petra Martic served for the match in the third set, only for Elina Svitolina to break the world No290’s heart by racing through five straight games to win 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 and reach the last eight, where she’ll play Simona Halep. Back on Philippe-Chatrier, Khachanov begins the second set with a hold to 15.

12.12pm BST

Khachanov belts a backhand wide to make it 15-0. Murray earns three set points with a serve down the middle. He takes the first with a swinging ace down the middle. It’s all very straightforward at the moment for the world No1.

12.10pm BST

First set: Murray 5-3 Khachanov* (*denotes server): Serving to stay in the first set, Khachanov holds to 15 with a massive forehand. There was another warning from Murray, though, with a superb forehand return off a wide serve. He’ll serve for the set.

12.07pm BST

First set: Murray* 5-2 Khachanov (*denotes server): Murray scampers on to a short ball to skelp a forehand low to Khachanov’s right for 15-0. Serving accurately, he moves into a 40-15 lead. Then he decides to toy with Khachanov. Drop shot. Lob. Smash. He needs two stabs at the smash, mind you, but he gets there in the end.

12.02pm BST

First set: Murray 4-2 Khachanov* (*denotes server): A couple of forehand errors from Khachanov give Murray a 15-30 lead. He’s under a bit of pressure, but he’s relieved to see Murray pull a backhand wide for 30-all. The game goes to deuce when Khachanov double-faults, though, and Murray earns the first break point with a stunning forehand return from right to left. Murray defends magnificently and Khachanov eventually pings a forehand wide on the right.

11.56am BST

First set: Murray* 3-2 Khachanov (*denotes server): Khachanov wins a point on the Murray serve at last, flicking a beautiful backhand down the line for 0-15. Then he hammers a smash down the line for 0-30. He’s settled down now. Murray responds by increasing his aggression, forcing Khachanov to hit long for 15-30. Then Khachanov nets a forehand. Murray’s decided he needs to be more proactive. He moves into a 40-30 lead with a forehand winner. Khachanov responds by swiping a forehand return away to force deuce. He isn’t allowed a break point, however, Murray holding with a driven forehand volley.

11.49am BST

First set: Murray 2-2 Khachanov* (*denotes server): The first point’s a minor classic. Khachanov pounds another forehand down the line, forcing Murray into a trademark defensive lob. Khachanov smashes and the rally resumes. Realising he can’t overpower Murray here, he changes approach – and stuns the world No1 with a gorgeous drop shot for 15-0. Soon it’s 40-15. The Russian holds to 30 with a huge serve. Murray’s not worked him out yet.

11.43am BST

First set: Murray* 2-1 Khachanov (*denotes server): Murray slams a powerful serve down the middle to take a 15-0 lead. At 30-0, he comes up with his first drop shot. Khachanov dinks it back over the net, but Murray dabs a forehand down the line for 40-0. He holds to love again.

11.41am BST

First set: Murray 1-1 Khachanov* (*denotes server): A murmur in the crowd as Khachanov begins this game with a double-fault. He’s on edge. The youngster’s a bag of nerves out there. He needs to settle down. But Murray’s not giving him much.A length rally ends with Khachanov sending a forehand long for 15-30. But then Khachanov finally comes alive. At 30-all, he rips a forehand down the line and moves forward to slap away a smash for 40-30. He holds to 30 and he’ll be feeling much better about himself.

11.36am BST

First set: Murray* 1-0 Khachanov (*denotes server): With the sun shining, Andy Murray gets the match underway. Khachanov tries to go big on a couple of returns, but they fly long and wide. Murray holds to love with a lovely drop shot.

11.29am BST

They’re into a third set on Suzanne-Lenglen, where Elina Svitolina has levelled it against Petra Martic. The fifth seed won the second set 6-3.

11.28am BST

Tok! Tok! Tok! They’re knocking up. This is Murray’s first meeting with Khachanov. He tends to do well against big servers and Khachanov is in unfamiliar territory after reaching the second week of a slam for the first time. Murray’s experience is incomparable.

11.26am BST

There was a danger that Andy Murray would simply be blown away by Juan Martin del Potro, given how off colour he has been in 2017, and it was a worrying start for the world No1. By the end, however, he looked back to his first. It might just have been the match he needed after all his problems this year, an intense, brutal, occasionally titanic struggle against a player who would be a top 10 player but for injuries. Is Murray back? It’s too soon to say. His level dipped and soared in his first two matches, both of which were won in four sets, and it could yet turn out to be a false dawn. But he’s feeling better about his tennis now. He is the world No1. All of a sudden, he looks ready for another tilt at this trophy, though he won’t have it all his own way against Karen Khachanov, a 6ft 6in Russian who’s got a big game.

11.14am BST

News reached us earlier of Tomas Berdych splitting with Goran Ivanisevic. Berdych was beaten in the second round by Karen Khachanov, whose match against Andy Murray is next on Philippe-Chatrier.

News from my team…✔️#tbteam pic.twitter.com/vnSNRRXgdh

11.10am BST

Not a bad way for her Halep to secure her first ever win over Carla Suarez-Navarro on clay.

11.00am BST

Another break for Simona Halep. She leads 6-1, 4-1.

10.55am BST

There have been three straight breaks at the start of the second set on Philippe-Chatrier. Despite some resistance from Carla Suarez-Navarro, Simona Halep still has a commanding lead.

10.52am BST

An upset’s brewing on Suzanne-Lenglen. Petra Martic, ranked 290th in the world after a torrid time with injuries, has taken the first set 6-4 against Elina Svitolina.

10.41am BST

This is a clinic from Simona Halep. Hitting ferociously, she breaks in the first game of the second set. You wouldn’t think the Romanian has a 0-4 record against Suarez-Navarro on clay.

10.39am BST

There’s finally been a break on Suzanne-Lenglen. Petra Martic is the heavy underdog, but she leads 4-3 against Elina Svitolina.

10.36am BST

The first set’s over in 26 minutes. Carla Suarez-Navarro changes tack, deciding to approach the net at 40-30, but Halep drops a backhand pass at her feet and the Spaniard can’t do anything with a half-volley.

10.32am BST

Suarez-Navarro, defending well, gets herself on the scoreboard at last. But Halep will serve for the set at 5-1.

10.27am BST

This is outstanding from Halep, who’s looking every inch the potential champion at the moment. The Romanian breaks again to lead 4-0 in the first set. It’s more even on Suzanne-Lenglen, meanwhile, where it’s still on serve.

10.18am BST

Simona Halep, rocketing around Philippe-Chatrier, sprays forehands left and right and forces Carla Suarez-Navarro to block a forehand wide. The first break goes to Halep. It’s unlikely to be the last.

10.14am BST

Simona Halep’s under pressure from Carla Suarez-Navarro immediately, down a couple of break points in the first game. A searing backhand saves the first, though, and that provides her with enough momentum to hold.

10.12am BST

And … play! Day nine of the French Open is underway.

10.07am BST

It’s a sunny day in Paris – we’ve been lucky with the weather after last year’s downpours – but it’s a windy day. Conditions could be influential here.

10.06am BST

The players are out and warming up. On Philippe-Chatrier, we have Simona Halep, the favourite, and Carla Suarez-Navarro, the 21st seed. Suarez-Navarro has won all four of their meetings on clay, so this is unlikely to be a comfortable couple of hours for Halep, who lost to Elina Svitolina in the Rome final. Svitolina is on Suzanne-Lenglen now. She’s up against Petra Martic, a 26-year-old Croatian who hasn’t been in the fourth round since 2012.

9.54am BST

While we wait for play to begin, here’s Kevin Mitchell’s preview of Andy Murray’s match.

Related: Andy Murray finds focus to keep calm and carry on at French Open | Kevin Mitchell

9.11pm BST

Hello. In the women’s draw, one thing’s for certain: one way or another, we will have a new grand slam champion come Saturday afternoon. With Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova missing, the stage was set for Garbine Muguruza to defend her crown – but the Spaniard crashed out against Kristina Mladenovic yesterday, while Caroline Wozniacki also sent former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova on her way today. An open draw just became that bit more open. For Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina this is an are intriguing developments. As long as they can all keep their momentum going today. Halep plays Carla Suarez-Navarro, Pliskova meets Veronica Cepede Royg and Svitolina has a date with Petra Martic.

But while unfamiliarity is the theme with the women, the same old faces are mostly dominating the men’s draw – not that the tournament’s suffering for it. There was talk before the fortnight that this might be the time for one of the young pretenders to make their mark. Yet Rafael Nadal is looking as awesome as ever on clay, while Novak Djokovic played the sort of tennis you’d hope for from the defending champion yesterday. The top two favourites have mostly been untouchable so far and today Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka look to join them in the last eight; Murray after an uplifting win over Juan Martin del Potro, Wawrinka after dealing emphatically with the awkward Fabio Fognini. Murray faces Karen Khachanov, the 21-year-old Russian who has had impressive wins over Tomas Berdych and John Isner, while Wawrinka takes on home favourite Gael Monfils.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jun/05/french-open-andy-murray-wawrinka-and-halep-in-action-on-day-nine-live

Apr 23

Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City: FA Cup semi-final – as it happened

Arsenal will play Chelsea in the FA Cup final thanks to Nacho Monreal’s equaliser and Alexis Sanchez’s extra-time winner

5.49pm BST

Report from Wembley:

Related: Alexis Sánchez gives Arsenal extra edge to sink Manchester City in semi

5.38pm BST

It’s Arsenal’s day. A rare joyous moment for Arsene Wenger in the context of this season and a win that might just give him the encouragement he needs to sign that new contract. They’re into the FA Cup final, where they’ll face Chelsea, and they’re there because they showed spirit to recover from a goal down. Nacho Monreal and Alexis Sanchez scored the goals and Arsenal were dogged enough to hold out in the end. As for Manchester City, their first season under Pep Guardiola is fizzling out. Their last chance of a trophy has gone and they face a fight to hold off Manchester United in the fight for the top four now. They’re a point above United and host them on Thursday night. Thanks for reading and emailing. Bye!

5.33pm BST

That’s it! Arsenal are in the FA Cup final thanks to Alexis Sanchez’s winner! Oh, Pep.

5.32pm BST

ET 30 min: Iheanacho’s offside. Arsenal have to hold on for one minute.

5.30pm BST

ET 29 min: Francis Coquelin replaces Mesut Ozil.

5.30pm BST

ET 28 min: Toure curls one wide from 20 yards. The Arsenal fans let out a relieved cheer.

5.29pm BST

ET 27 min: Toure can’t stop giving the ball away.

5.27pm BST

ET 25 min: Otamendi’s booked for clumping Ramsey’s heels.

5.26pm BST

ET 24 min: Navas slips a pass through to De Bruyne, whose cross shot slithers across the face of goal. The Belgian looks anguished.

5.25pm BST

ET 23 min: City have Arsenal pinned back at the moment, but Guardiola’s men are running out of time. “Anyone remember that first hour when this game was, pardon my French, naff?” says Matt Loten. “Me neither. These teams might not have the refinement of Chelsea or Spurs, but this has turned into a cracking watch.” It’s so flawed, though, both midfields leaving much to be desired.

5.23pm BST

ET 21 min: All of a sudden, De Bruyne romps through the middle, Arsenal all over the shop. He tees up Delph to his left, but the slightest of blocks from Bellerin takes the midfielder’s shot into the side netting. Some City fans think it’s in. It’s not. City still have a corner here, but Iheanacho heads wide.

5.21pm BST

ET 19 min: Toure’s free-kick is straight into the wall.

5.20pm BST

ET 18 min: In a deeper position now, De Bruyne slips a pass through to Iheanacho, who can’t take the ball with him. Arsenal survive. But it’s not long before they concede a free-kick 25 yards out. It’s to the left of the D and Toure fancies his chances.

5.18pm BST

ET 17 min: Delph shots well wide from 25 yards. “Bellerin’s hair is a clear example of the dysfunction at Arsenal,” says Matthew Carpenter-Arevalo.

5.17pm BST

ET 16 min: City get the final period underway. Iheanacho has come on for the wretched Sterling, City using the fourth sub granted to them in extra-time.

5.16pm BST

The officials want Manchester City to get out there, but a manic Pep Guardiola is still doling out instructions. Kelechi Iheanacho is coming on for Raheem Sterling.

5.15pm BST

Arsenal are 15 minutes away from another FA Cup final and I’m not sure how Manchester City get themselves out of this mess.

5.14pm BST

ET 15 min+2: Danny Welbeck should wrap it up, only to head Ozil’s cross wide from close range. Xhaka was also booked for that nonsense with Delph.

5.13pm BST

ET 15 min+1: Hector Bellerin replaces Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Bellerin has cornrows. Okay.

5.12pm BST

ET 15 min: Craig Pawson has to sort out a melee, with Fabian Delph losing his cool after being manhandled by Xhaka. The City midfielder’s booked.

5.11pm BST

ET 14 min: With the outside of his right foot, De Bruyne finds Sterling on the right. He tries to set up Sane, but Holding diverts it behind for a corner, which comes to nothing.

5.09pm BST

ET 12 min: Sane’s been booked for dissent. How are City going to score without a striker on the pitch? Over to you, Fabian Delph.

5.09pm BST

Mesut Ozil dinks the free-kick to the far post. It’s nodded down and although Danny Welbeck misses his kick, Alexis Sanchez gathers the loose ball and bundles it past Bravo from close range! Arsenal lead!

5.07pm BST

ET 10 min: This looks like Arsenal’s game to win. City are increasingly underwhelming. They’ve lacked intelligence and personality. Welbeck wins a free-kick deep on the left, Kompany clumsily bringing him down. And…

5.06pm BST

ET 9 min: Manchester City make a double change, Fabian Delph replacing Sergio Aguero and Fernando replacing Fernandinho. Kevin De Bruyne has moved up front.

5.04pm BST

ET 7 min: Ozil sends the corner to the near post from the right, but the unmarked Holding heads just over. What a miss. Fernandinho’s down, meanwhile, and Fabian Delph is going to come on.

5.03pm BST

ET 6 min: Welbeck, threatening since his introduction, robs Fernandinho, then bustles to the byline on the right. His cross is blocked. It comes to Sanchez. He settles for a corner.

5.01pm BST

ET 5 min: Glenn Hoddle’s wondering whether Claudio Bravo will take a penalty for Manchester City.

4.59pm BST

ET 3 min: After a hypnotic City passing move, De Bruyne tries to feed Sane, but he takes it out of play.

4.58pm BST

ET 1 min: This is the third time I’ve been taken to extra-time this week. Arsenal get us underway. Guardiola doesn’t have many game-changing options on the bench. Kelechi Iheanacho is there. The others are defensive players. Wenger can still call upon Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi.

4.51pm BST

We shall have extra-time.

4.48pm BST

90 min: There will be three added minutes. “Yeah, tis a pity Chelsea and Tottenham weren’t kept apart in the semi final draw,” says Simon McMahon. “Then we might have had a final for the ages, rather than a semi final. As it is, it’s hard to see either of these sides giving the Chelsea management and players sleepless nights.”

4.46pm BST

89 min: De Bruyne’s booked for a cynical trip on Sanchez. City are a weirdly slow team without Silva. They aren’t incisive enough.

4.44pm BST

86 min: Welbeck, using his pace, gallops after a long pass down the right channel. He takes on Otamendi, beats the Argentinian slightly fortuitously, then bends a shot inches past the far post when he could have set up Ramsey or Sanchez for a tap-in. Ramsey and Sanchez are fuming.

4.43pm BST

85 min: Otamendi and Fernandinho get in each other’s way and a high ball drops to Welbeck. He moves it on to Ozil, but Navas covers when he tries to find Ramsey.

4.40pm BST

83 min: Danny Welbeck replaces Olivier Giroud.

4.40pm BST

82 min: De Bruyne slides a pass to Sane on the left. The sliding Gabriel concedes a corner with an important challenge. De Bruyne lifts the corner to the far post and Fernandinho smacks a header against the bar! City have hit the woodwork again! The ball bounces back to Navas, who fires wide from 20 yards.

4.38pm BST

81 min: Ozil hares down the right, into the area, but he wants to come back on to his left foot and Otamendi stops him.

4.37pm BST

79 min: Yaya Toure hits the post! He started the move with a powerful surge through the middle. He found Sterling, whose weak shot was blocked and flew to Toure, who adjusted his body before hooking a low volley from 25 yards towards the bottom right corner. But Cech redeemed himself by feather the ball on to the base of the post and to safety!

4.35pm BST

78 min: Navas knocks a pass straight out of play. City have been poor since half-time.

4.31pm BST

74 min: Chelsea must be having a good old chuckle at the thought of playing one of these two in the final.

4.30pm BST

73 min: Arsenal’s fans are doing the Poznan.

4.30pm BST

From wing-back to wing-back. Oxlade-Chamberlain swings a fantastic cross to the far post from the right. Navas is outnumbered and Monreal, culpable in Aguero’s goal, arrives unmarked to hammer a low volley past Bravo with his right foot! What a response from Arsenal! Manchester City, though. They can’t defend.

4.28pm BST

70 min: Monreal win a corner for Arsenal on the left. Ozil takes it. But City aren’t in any particular danger.

4.26pm BST

69 min: Fernandinho’s booked for bringing Xhaka down.

4.26pm BST

67 min: Monreal hoicks a cross into the City area. Nothing doing. Arsenal had improved since half-time, but they have to show more invention and ability in the final third.

4.23pm BST

65 min: Against the run of play, then, Manchester City lead. But Arsenal look to hit back immediately and City look panicky at the back. The ball reaches Ozil on the edge of the area. He has a clear sight of goal after taking a touch, but screws his low shot wide!

4.22pm BST

This is wonderful opportunism from Sergio Aguero, a strange goal, but a piece of fine finishing from the Manchester City striker. The Arsenal corner was half cleared and Aaron Ramsey tried to beat Yaya Toure. To no avail. Toure robbed him, looked up and sprayed a pass over the top to Aguero. Nacho Monreal was the only Arsenal defender back. I don’t know why. They’re Arsenal. Aguero has the pace to get away, even when it looks like Monreal’s reeling him in. He takes a heavy final touch and it seems that the ball’s there for Cech to win. But the Arsenal goalkeeper’s slow to react and when he does advance, Aguero dinks it over him with the outside of his right foot.

4.20pm BST

61 min: City make a dog’s dinner of a four course meal on their edge of the area, Fernandinho blundering. Giroud menaces in the air, but it’s hastily knocked behind for a corner. And…

4.17pm BST

59 min: It’s all Arsenal at the moment, not that anything of any note’s happening. But the game’s being played in City’s half at the moment. City can barely string two passes together.

4.16pm BST

58 min: This has been the kind of game that makes it easier to understand why the Premier League has no participants in the Champions League semi-finals.

4.14pm BST

57 min: Sane teases Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left and leaves him on his backside before teeing up Sterling, whose scuffed effort’s blocked.

4.13pm BST

54 min: In significant news for both of these teams, Manchester United have won 2-0 at Burnley. They’re six points ahead of Arsenal, who have a game in hand, and a point behind City, who they visit on Thursday. Meanwhile Claudio Bravo is doing some interesting things and increasingly has the look of a goalkeeper who’s about to make a howling comedy error.

4.11pm BST

53 min: The free-kick’s pulled back to the edge of the area, where Xhaka’s in an ocean of space. His low sidefooter’s deflected wide. From the corner, Holding threatens, but Kompany defends solidly.

4.10pm BST

52 min: Sanchez turns adroitly on the left, leaving two City players for dead, and Fernandinho pushes him over on the edge of the area. Arsenal have started promisingly.

4.08pm BST

51 min: De Bruyne’s corner is headed down and wide by Otamendi.

4.08pm BST

50 min: Holding needlessly concedes a corner on the right, slicing behind when it was easier to knock the ball out for a throw.

4.06pm BST

48 min: Arsenal counter down the right, Ozil linking with Oxlade-Chamberlain. The ball’s lofted to the far post, Giroud challenges with Kompany and tries to knock it down for Ramsey. City concede a corner. It’s headed away.

4.04pm BST

46 min: Manchester City get the second half underway. Let’s hope it’s better than the first. “Is there any obscure law which can nullify this semifinal and let Spurs face Chelsea again in the final?” says Gary P. “Quality of football was of entirely different scale yesterday and Spurs deserve so much more to be in the final than any if these two ‘attractive’ teams.”

3.48pm BST

Half-time reading: Christopher Thomond’s FA Cup photo essay.

Related: FA Cup photo essay – road to Wembley, quarter-final: Middlesbrough v Manchester City

3.47pm BST

Meh.

3.47pm BST

45 min+1: Koscielny bumps De Bruyne over to the right of the Arsenal area. This has been a scrappy, dirty game.De Bruyne manages to hit the one-man Arsenal wall with his free-kick, which pretty much sums up this half.

3.46pm BST

45 min: Oxlade-Chamberlain flings the free-kick to the far post. It always looks like it’s drifting behind, but Arsenal scream for a penalty when Navas tugs Sanchez back. Craig Pawson ignores their appeals.

3.45pm BST

44 min: De Bruyne handles on the left. Arsenal win a free-kick. They’re getting a lot of set-pieces. Perhaps Wenger’s learnt something from his recent defeats to Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis.

3.43pm BST

41 min: On the touchline, Guardiola is full of grievances. It’s difficult not to sympathise with the Manchester City manager. He’s seen the officials deny his team a strong penalty claim and rule out a seemingly valid goal.

3.42pm BST

40 min: De Bruyne slips a pass through to Sane on the left. Sane manages to reach it before it runs behind and chips a cross over Cech. It reaches Aguero at the far post and he hammers it goalwards. Cech pushes it out – it looks like it’s over the line – but Sterling is on hand to volley home the rebound. City think they’ve scored. But they haven’t. The linesman’s flag is up. He thinks Sane went out before coming back in. It’s very tight. The replays suggest that the whole of the ball hadn’t gone out. Arsenal have got lucky here.

3.39pm BST

39 min: Giroud wins a free-kick for Arsenal on the left, going down as he challenges for the ball in the air with Kompany. Oxlade-Chamberlain knocks it in, Bravo flaps, but players are offside in the middle.

3.38pm BST

38 min: Aguero manages his first shot of the game, but he arrows it into the side netting from a tight angle on the right.

3.36pm BST

36 min: This game hasn’t really taken off yet. It’s not at the level of yesterday’s semi-final.

3.34pm BST

33 min: Aguero’s down after taking a knee to the back from Koscielny. Why is it that teams always think they have to kick Arsenal off the park?

3.32pm BST

31 min: Sane skedaddles to the byline on the left. Oxlade-Chamberlain concedes a corner. City take it short and end up on the halfway line.

3.29pm BST

29 min: Toure drives forward and prods a pass through to Aguero, who turns away from Oxlade-Chamberlain before going down in the area. The replays shows that Oxlade-Chamberlain tripped him from behind, accidentally but arguably illegally. That could easily have been a penalty to Manchester City, even if it would have been a soft one.

3.28pm BST

27 min: City continue to dominate possession. Arsenal are being outnumbered in the middle. They’ll want to sort that out.

3.26pm BST

26 min: De Bruyne’s deep free-kick is headed back into the middle by Toure. Arsenal get it away as far as Sterling, who loops a volley wide. Cech didn’t look bothered.

3.25pm BST

25 min: Sanchez slides to reach a loose ball and brings Fernandinho down on the right. He’s booked, arguably harshly.

3.24pm BST

23 min: David Silva, unable to shake off that knee injury and mightily miffed with Gabriel for the foul that caused it, is replaced by Raheem Sterling.

3.23pm BST

22 min: A free-kick to Arsenal on the right, Kompany tripping Ozil. It’s sent in by Ozil and headed away to the edge of the area. Giroud knocks it back into the danger zone and Koscielny volleys past Bravo, but the flag is up for offside. Koscielny was miles offside.

3.22pm BST

21 min: There’s a suggestion that Silva’s hobbling a little bit, which might be a legacy of that earlier foul by Gabriel. Raheem Sterling’s warming up. Silva’s been in conversation with Guardiola.

3.20pm BST

20 min: Possession: Arsenal 32%-68% Manchester City. Hoddle reckons Arsenal’s three centre-backs have to improve on the ball.

3.19pm BST

18 min: Navas’s low cross from the right runs all the way to Clichy on the edge of the area. He takes a touch before shooting with his right foot. I won’t insult your intelligence.

3.17pm BST

17 min: Arsenal struggle to clear their lines, Xhaka taking a chance on the left, and they end up conceding a free-kick. De Bruyne lifts it to the far post, but Kompany can’t do anything with it. He reckons it should be a corner, but he’s not getting one.

3.16pm BST

15 min: Oxlade-Chamberlain attacks down the right for the first time, easily beating Sane and crossing into the middle. Giroud’s unmarked, but he directs his header straight at Bravo, who makes an actual save. City counter through Aguero on the right. He stabs a cross towards the far post and Silva, of all people, nods it towards the top corner, forcing Cech to tip it over. Nothing comes from the corner.

3.15pm BST

14 min: Otamendi pings a diagonal pass towards Aguero on the right. Aguero tries to nod it down for the onrushing De Bruyne, but Cech gathers.

3.13pm BST

12 min: Arsenal scheme for the first time on the edge of the City area, Sanchez nutmegging De Bruyne and feeding Ozil on the left. His cross is scooped clear by Kompany, Toure completes the job and Gabriel fouls Silva.

3.11pm BST

10 min: This is quite the farce, De Bruyne colliding with a dozy linesman as he tries to take City’s corner on the right. Whoops. Eventually the linesman gets out of the way and we go again. De Bruyne whips the corner in, but the whistle blows for a foul in the middle.

3.10pm BST

9 min: It might not surprise you to learn that City are seeing most of the ball. Space opens up for Silva for the first time and Arsenal are in trouble. Silva slides a peach of a pass through to Aguero, but his first touch invites a challenge from Koscielny, who foils him. Corner to city.

3.07pm BST

6 min: It’s been a fairly cagey start. We’d already had a zinger from Willian by this point in yesterday’s semi-final. But these two sides are feeling their way into this one.

3.06pm BST

5 min: Navas has a dash up the right, but his cross is cleared. I might place that sentence on file. “Non-partisan cheer of the day – good to see Vincent Kompany upright, on both legs, and looking ready to play football,” says Charles Antaki.

3.03pm BST

3 min: Sane drifts inside from the left, De Bruyne drifts inside from the right. Sane finds De Bruyne, who decides to have an early sighter from 25 yards. He cuts across his shot, though, and it fizzes harmlessly wide.

3.03pm BST

2 min: Glenn Hoddle is one of the pundits on BT Sport this afternoon. I suppose he approves of a back three, having used one with England at the 1998 World Cup.

3.01pm BST

And we’re off! Arsenal, in their red and white, get the game underway, kicking from right to left in the first half. Manchester City are in light blue and the atmosphere inside sunny Wembley sounds rather terrific.

2.58pm BST

The teams are out. The man with the microphone is screaming into it and loud music is pumping, because fans must not be allowed to let the atmosphere grow organically.

2.40pm BST

Son Heung-Min struggled at left wing-back for Tottenham yesterday, giving away a penalty rashly. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seems more suited to the wing-back role than the South Korean, in theory, but his defensive qualities are sure to be put to the test by Leroy Sane on the left. Sane has scored two in two games against Arsenal this season.

2.37pm BST

“Slightly awkward,” says Hugh Molloy. “Arsenal had a back 3 when Wenger arrived and he even kept it for a bit. I can however confirm that Tony Adams had never eaten (or heard of) broccoli pre 1996.”

Ah, but when is a back three not a back three but a back five?

2.28pm BST

Arsenal stick with their revolutionary use of a back three. First Arsene Wenger brings broccoli, pasta, mineral water and sit-ups to the club, now a new formation. Will wonders never cease? Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Nacho Monreal are his Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso, his Kyle Walker and, er, Son Heung-Min. Up front, it’s Olivier Giroud instead of Theo Walcott.

Manchester City opt for a touch of control over pace. At the Emirates a few weeks ago, Pep Guardiola seemed to blunder by replacing Raheem Sterling with Yaya Toure at half-time; City no longer carried the same threat on the break and Kevin de Bruyne wasn’t quite as dangerous on the right as he was in the middle. But Guardiola has opted for that set-up from the start here. Toure joins Fernandinho in central midfield, De Bruyne starts on the right and Sterling starts on the bench. So does Willy Caballero. Shot-stopping’s Claudio Bravo’s between the sticks and he’ll be protected by Vincent Kompany, starting for for the third time in four matches.

2.05pm BST

Manchester City: Bravo; Navas, Kompan, Otamendi, Clichy; Fernandinho, Toure; De Bruyne, Silva, Sane; Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Zabaleta, Fernando, Kolarov, Delph, Sterling, Iheanacho.

Arsenal: Cech; Gabriel, Koscielny, Holding; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Monreal; Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud. Subs: Martinez, Bellerin, Gibbs, Coquelin, Iwobi, Walcott, Welbeck.

1.30pm BST

It’s been 19 years since Arsene Wenger’s first FA Cup semi-final. Christopher Wreh, a man who once delivered a performance so bad that he became a substituted substitute, scored the only goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers as Arsenal continued their relentless push towards the Double. What a visionary Wenger was back in 1998. Wreh’s goal was created by a driving run from Patrick Vieira, an unheralded £3.5m signing from Milan who had formed an awesome Gallic midfield partnership with the no less mysterious Emmanuel Petit. Now Granit Xhaka struggles to live up to his £35m fee in Arsenal’s midfield. Things aren’t as they once were in north London.

That win over Wolves back in April 1998 kept Arsenal rolling. Manchester United, weighed down by injuries and indifferent form during the spring months, were in their sights. Wenger was the foreign genius, Le Professeur, finally a worthy adversary for Sir Alex Ferguson. Arsenal won the title with two games to spare when they walloped Everton 4-0 – Tony Adams, put through by Steve Bould, would you believe it? – and a fortnight later they beat Newcastle 2-0 at Wembley thanks to goals from Marc Overmars and Nicolas Anelka. Arsene appeared to know.

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/apr/23/arsenal-v-manchester-city-fa-cup-semi-final-live

Apr 20

Manchester United 2-1 Anderlecht (3-2 agg): Europa League quarter-final – as it happened

Marcus Rashford scored an extra-time winner to send Manchester United into the last four, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffered a potentially serious injury

10.34pm BST

Manchester United are into the last four of the Europa League thanks to the brilliant Marcus Rashford. Anderlecht were impressive but United were the more forceful side as the game wore on and were good value for the win in the end. The bad news is a potentially serious injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The good news is Marcus Rashford. Thanks for reading and emailing. Night.

Related: Marcus Rashford’s extra-time winner takes Manchester United through

Related: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s cruel injury luck may be a blessing for Manchester United | Jamie Jackson

10.31pm BST

ET 29 min: Martial’s got the ball in the Anderlecht now, after a moment of magic from Mkhitaryan, but the flag’s up. Anderlecht are still in this. Forward they go. Valencia doesn’t clear his lines and Obrodovic crosses to the far post, where Mbodji rises above Shaw and heads goalwards. Romero tips it over, but a goal-kick’s awarded.

10.29pm BST

ET 27 min: Bruno crosses from the right. Romero punches clear. Suddenly it’s panic stations at the back for United, who’ve dropped back and invited pressure.

10.28pm BST

ET 26 min: After a spot of head tennis on the edge of the United area, Acheampong gets the better of Bailly but heads straight at Romero from six yards out. What a chance.

10.25pm BST

ET 23 min: It’s weird that Marcus Rashford, a striker, scores when he’s played as a striker, not a winger. Work that out.

10.22pm BST

ET 20 min: Mkhitaryan finds Pogba in space on the right of the area, but the midfielder’s low effort is too careful and Ruben saves down to his right.

10.20pm BST

ET 18 min: What a prospect this kid is. But as it stands, Anderlecht still just need one goal to knock United out. It’s bound to be a nervy finish at Old Trafford.

10.19pm BST

The pressure finally pays off and it’s thanks to a brilliant piece of improvisation from Marcus Rashford. Marouane Fellaini, so dangerous in the air, nods down to him. He’s still got plenty of work to do, but he earns a sight of goal with a wonderful backheeled turn on to his left foot, from where he slithers a low shot to Ruben’s right to break Anderlecht’s stout resistance!

10.17pm BST

ET 16 min: Anderlecht get the final period of this match underway.

10.16pm BST

Fifteen more minutes without a goal and we’ll have penalties.

10.15pm BST

ET 15 min: Anderlecht attack for the first time in a while. Tielemans has a dig from 25 yards. His crisp effort’s straight at Romero, who almost gifts Anderlecht a goal by spilling it, only to recover quickly to smother the loose ball.

10.13pm BST

ET 14 min: Anderlecht have completely run out of gas. Is it only a matter of time for United?

10.13pm BST

ET 13 min: Martial’s cross, Fellaini’s header, Rashford’s shot, Dendoncker’s block.

10.11pm BST

ET 11 min: Pogba’s got the ball in the Anderlecht net, but the whistle had gone for a foul by Fellaini, who was all over Spajic as he nodded the ball down. It looks like a soft decision. Spajic wasn’t really jumping.

10.09pm BST

ET 9 min: Acheampong has lost the ball every time he’s had it since the start of the second half. He’s ruined so many Anderlecht attacks.

10.07pm BST

ET 8 min: Rashford dinks the free-kick into the six-yard box. Fellaini looks certain to nod it in but Spajic Chiellinis it away.

10.07pm BST

ET 7 min: Appiah’s booked for bringing down Rashford on the edge of the area on the left.

10.06pm BST

ET 6 min: Mkhitaryan zigzags through the middle and tries to release Rashford, but Mbodji’s there.

10.05pm BST

ET 4 min: Obradovic’s shot actually seemed to come off an Anderlecht player, so it should have been a goal-kick to United. Tielemans decides to pull it back low from the right to Stanciu, but he balloons his shot into the Stretford End. “Maybe Zlatan going down is a good thing: forces Mourinho to use the team/tactics versus Chelsea,” says Michael Meagher. “A bit like when Balotelli got himself sent off against Arsenal a few seasons back and basically suspended for the remainder of the season forcing Mancini to eat humble pie and start picking Tevez again and going on to win the league.”

10.02pm BST

ET 3 min: Mkhitaryan’s deflected shot from 25 yards flies straight at Ruben. Up the other end, Obradovic’s deflected shot whistles inches past the left post.

10.02pm BST

ET 2 min: Rashford darts down the right, leaves his marker on the floor and sends a rabona cross to the far post. Pogba goes for the stunning overhead kick, but it’s blocked by Spajic! What a goal that would have been! “Wow!” says Gloria Greppi. “Celta the only team through w/o ET.”

10.00pm BST

ET 1 min: Manchester United get extra-time underway. “I’m no doctor but that was a pretty bad looking hyper-extension for Zlatan,” says JR in Illinois. “Wouldn’t be at all surprised if he’s banjaxed his ACL.” The good news is he walked off.

9.59pm BST

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has walked off. At least he didn’t need a stretcher. Anthony Martial replaces him.

9.55pm BST

We will have extra-time. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who appears to have twisted his right knee, is still down. The physios are on.

9.55pm BST

90 min+2: Ibrahimovic goes down in the Anderlecht area – no penalty – and lands awkwardly. He looks hurt.

9.54pm BST

90 min+1: “The TV just showed Mourinho talking to Shaw, presumably to give him instructions,” says JR in Illinois. “Not sure why he needs to tell him verbally if his brain is controlling Shaw anyway.”

9.53pm BST

90 min: There will be two added minutes.

9.51pm BST

89 min: Ibrahimovic scoops a pass inside Appiah, so skilfully, but Rashford shoots into the side netting. They do waste chances.

9.51pm BST

88 min: Anderlecht’s threat has faded in the past 20 minutes, though. I’ve asked Kevin Keegan and he says there’s only one winner here (Manchester United).

9.50pm BST

87 min: Not much is happening. We’re drifting towards extra-time.

9.46pm BST

83 min: Acheampong appears to be struggling with a bit of cramp. Anderlecht have used all of their subs.

9.45pm BST

82 min: With a clever touch, Carrick creates space in the middle and then releases Ibrahimovic with a perceptive pass. Unmarked 15 yards out, he slices his shot wide by quite a lengthy margin.

9.43pm BST

81 min: Tielemans sends a free-kick from the right straight to Romero. Anderlecht’s set-pieces in the second half have been appalling.

9.42pm BST

80 min: A Valencia cross finds Ibrahimovic. He volleys well wide.

9.41pm BST

79 min: Anderlecht make their final change, Thelin replacing the tiring Theodorczyk.

9.41pm BST

78 min: Rashford curls a cross into the area. Ruben comes for it, but it’s headed over by one of his defenders. From the resulting corner, Pogba should score. The ball lands on his right foot, six yards out, and he volleys embarrassingly high!

9.37pm BST

75 min: Valencia’s cross is headed behind by Spajic. United are really testing Anderlecht in the air now. If only Mourinho could get Robert Huth on.

9.36pm BST

73 min: “Given the constraints Ben Watson pointed out, Anderlecht’s tactic seems to have been to raid Romanian football for its talent,” notes Ian Copestake. They’ll get nowhere signing foreigners.

9.35pm BST

72 min: Pogba launches a pass over the top to Ibrahimovic. He brings it down before tumbling with Mbodji nearby. The referee waves him back to his feet.

9.34pm BST

71 min: Fellaini is making a difference in the Anderlecht box now. He throws himself at a cross from the right and the ball lands at the feet of the unmarked Ibrahimovic. He controls, opens up his body and tries to stroke the ball into the far corner, but he shoots too close to Ruben and Anderlecht scramble it away!

9.33pm BST

69 min: A corner to Anderlecht on the left. It’s a waste, hit straight to the near post. United hoof it away and Appiah, the last man, looks panicky as Rashford closes him down. The only thing to do is let the ball bounce and make a complete dog’s dinner of his clearance, a comical slice that sends Rashford through on goal. This should be the moment for United, but Rashford takes a slightly heavy touch and although he goes round Ruben, he’s forced too wide. The goal’s gaping, but Rashford has to chase the ball, reset himself and go again, by which time Appiah’s recovered to make a timely intervention.

9.30pm BST

68 min: Can Manchester United bring on Viktor Kassai?

9.27pm BST

65 min: Manchester United, in need of a goal, have one more change to make. Anthony Martial is still on the bench. Watch this space. Back on the pitch, United have become direct. Ibrahimovic nods down to Rashford and space opens up for him, but he wallops one wide from 20 yards.

9.26pm BST

64 min: Anderlecht make two changes. Massimo Bruno replaces Alexandru Chipciu and Nicolae Stanciu is on for the excellent Sofiane Hanni.

9.25pm BST

63 min: From the resulting corner, Fellaini bounces a header straight at Ruben. “As forecast: hoofball,” says Geoff Wignall.

9.25pm BST

62 min: Valencia lifts a cross towards Fellaini. It’s headed away, as far as Rashford, whose volley’s deflected over.

9.23pm BST

60 min: Marouane Fellaini replaces Jesse Lingard. The Anderlecht fans welcome the former Standard Liege man with a chorus of boos. I wonder how United will approach the final 30 minutes. Fellaini is presumably on for his creative qualities.

9.21pm BST

59 min: Lingard knocks a pass straight out of play. Who’s next?

9.20pm BST

58 min: Big Marouane is going to come on in a minute. Meanwhile, Shaw accidentally selects power drive and punts a pass down the line straight out for a goal-kick.

9.19pm BST

57 min: The home fans howl as Pogba, attempting to force the issue, knocks a poor pass straight through to Ruben.

9.18pm BST

54 min: A fortunate ricochet runs for Obradovic down the left. He’s got plenty of space here. His cross is pushed out by Romero, but Tielemans, who’s giving United’s midfield the runaround at times, is on hand to gather possession. He plays at his own pace, this kid. Eventually he slides a pass down the right for the overlapping Chipciu. His cross is headed straight at Romero by Teodorczyk, who couldn’t generate enough power.

9.15pm BST

53 min: Chipciu, miles out, shoots well wide. That was wasteful. The shot came after another hypnotic spell of Anderlecht possession, however, offering further evidence of their pleasing confidence. It’s never not enjoyable to see a young side play this way.

9.13pm BST

49 min: Rashford slips a fine pass through to the raiding Luke Shaw, who reaches the byline and pulls the ball across into the six-yard box. Lingard throws himself at it in the Gazza at Euro 96 style, but he’s under telling pressure from Obradovic and somehow studs wide from all of three yards out! How on earth did that stay out? I realise I’m supposed to be telling you how, but you get the point.

9.10pm BST

48 min: Tielemans sprays a pass to Teodorczyk, who rolls Valencia and makes towards the United goal. Valencia hares back, though, holds him up and diverts his shot wide for a corner, which Romero punches away.

9.09pm BST

47 min: Luke Shaw forces Appiah to concede a corner on the left. Rashford’s delivery is headed away at the near post.

9.09pm BST

46 min: Anderlecht get the second half underway.

9.06pm BST

Half-time emails

“Great to see an impressive Anderlecht,” says Ben Watson. “One of the real casualties of the overwhelming strength of the big four leagues, and their ability to buy up all available global talent, has been the relative quality of the top clubs of the smaller nations. Surely, given the quality of the current batch of Belgian players, 20 years ago Anderlecht would have been competing for the European Cup. Same has been true for the relative power of S.Lisbon, R Vienna, D Kiev etc. Great clubs. Real shame for Euro club football.”

8.54pm BST

Everything seemed to be going to plan for Manchester United when Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave them an early lead, but they’re actually fairly fortunate to be level at the break. Sofiane Hanni’s equaliser is the least Anderlecht deserve. The Belgians have impressed. United have been below par.

8.52pm BST

45 min+1: In the first of two minutes of added time, Anderlecht almost score again. Acheampong holds it up in the United area and lays the ball back to Teodorczyk on the right. The striker’s return pass takes a deflection and squirts through to Hanni, who skips round Romero, six yards out, only for his touch to run out of play. Romero did well not to bring him down.

8.48pm BST

43 min: United amble up field, Lingard and Valencia combining to send Pogba on a saunter through the middle. Pogba scoops a pass towards Mkhitayran, who takes it down with a splendid touch before blazing high and wide from 20 yards.

8.46pm BST

41 min: “I was mildly surprised to see Wayne Rooney on the bench, not because he doesn’t merit it but because he just seems to be such a semi-detatched member of the Man Utd squad that I’d forgotten he was still playing,” says Brian Russell. “It’s been quite a fall for Wayne. What do you think he’ll do in the summer?” It’s between Magaluf and Vegas. More when we know more.

8.45pm BST

40 min: Shaw scoots inside from the left, onto his right foot, but shoots straight at Ruben. Jose Mourinho wasn’t thinking hard enough there.

8.44pm BST

39 min: Shaw finds Pogba, 25 yards out, but his drive’s blocked.

8.42pm BST

37 min: Pogba has a pop from 30 yards. Into the top tier it goes. “Fascinating though this game might be, one issue the boys in the studio will not be raising is why hair-product makers love footballers?” says Ian Copestake. “Daley Blind prepared to come on by taking a shot of treacly sweet go-faster beverage before putting the same liquid through his barnet.”

8.41pm BST

36 min: Rashford, United’s most threatening player, steams past Appiah on the left and forces Ruben to save his cross-shot at his near post.

8.40pm BST

33 min: Anderlecht have been mightily impressive since going behind. In fact, save for the three minutes that followed United’s goal, they’ve been excellent since the first whistle. They play fine football. Dendoncker and Tielemans are very good.

8.38pm BST

This has been coming. The move’s started by a superb cross-field pass from left to right by Dendoncker, who superbly picks out Chipciu. His cross is headed away by Blind, but only as far as Tielemans. Where’s the United midfield? Not here, that’s where. Tielemans shoots with his left foot and the slightest of deflections diverts the ball over Romero and against the face of the bar. The rebound bounces down to the onside Teodorczyk and although he can’t sort out his feet, the ball runs kindly for Hanni, who wallops it home. This tie is level.

8.35pm BST

30 min: Ibrahimovic cleverly sends Shaw running into space down the left, behind Appiah. His cross is behind Lingard, though.

8.34pm BST

29 min: Tielemans curls the free-kick over the wall, but it lacks pace and power, making it an easy save for Romero.

8.33pm BST

28 min: Pogba trips Hanni 25 yards from goal. United are missing Ander Herrera’s midfield energy at the moment.

8.32pm BST

27 min: Appiah bursts through on the right, away from Daley Blind, and shuffles the ball inside to Dendoncker. He shoots with the inside of his right foot, but bends the ball past the far post from 18 yards. For some reason, a corner’s awarded. Luckily for all laundry bins inside Old Trafford, nothing comes from the resulting delivery.

8.31pm BST

26 min: Anderlecht are enjoying a decent spell at the moment. Some of the intensity has faded from United’s game.

8.28pm BST

23 min: Rojo went down again after that chance for Acheampong, which probably explains the hesitant defending that let the Anderlecht winger in. He’s gone off on a stretcher. Daley Blind replaces him and another defensive injury is the last thing Jose Mourinho needs, especially given how well Rojo has played recently.

8.27pm BST

21 min: A throw down the Anderlecht left. Valencia heads it back and one of Rojo or Bailly should deal with it. Instead it’s a mess. Acheampong nips in between them and touches the ball into the wide open space in front of him. All of a sudden, he’s through on goal. But Romero closes down the angles well and manages to get a vital touch on the winger’s effort, taking it into the side netting. What a let-off for United.

8.25pm BST

20 min: After a lengthy spot of treatment, Rojo is back on his feet. He’s still limping, though, and feeling his knee.

8.23pm BST

18 min: Rojo and Chipciu are both down after a 50-50 challenge. Rojo looks to have come off worse.

8.21pm BST

16 min: Hanni gets away from Rojo in the middle of United’s half. He looks up and tries to pick out Acheampong with a raking pass over to the left, but Valencia defends solidly again.

8.19pm BST

13 min: Manchester United are tearing Anderlecht apart now. They fancy a second goal. Anderlecht are rocking. Lingard has a go now, curling towards the far corner from the left, but Ruben excels himself again, diving to his left to push it away for another United corner. This one comes to nothing.

8.18pm BST

12 min: A corner to United on the right. It’s sent to the far post by Mkhitaryan and Pogba rises highest, only for Ruben to palm his header over.

8.17pm BST

11 min: Rashford’s using his pace now, steaming past Tielemans, who hauls him down. He’s booked. He’ll miss the first leg of the semi if Anderlecht get through.

8.17pm BST

Overhyped waste of money and walking haircut Paul Pogba sends Marcus Rashford hurtling clear down the left with a peach of a pass. It’s a beauty from Pogba, brilliantly angled along the floor, and Rashford doesn’t have to break stride. He tries to tee up Ibrahimovic in the middle, but his cross is blocked. It comes back to him, though, and he has the presence of mind to knock it inside to Mkhitaryan, who takes a touch before hammering a low drive past Ruben! That should settle United’s nerves.

8.14pm BST

9 min: Anderlecht have come to play. Teodorczyk almost latches on to a ball over the lop, but he can’t bring it down. It skids through to Romero. Anderlecht just come straight back at United, though, and Shaw has to defend well on the left to stop Spajic. Excellent telepathy from Jose Mourinho.

8.12pm BST

7 min: Anderlecht, breezy and confident, are playing some neat football. Hanni tries to play Acheampong in, but Valencia is alert and mops up.

8.10pm BST

5 min: The visiting Anderlecht fans are making plenty of noise. “Has Jose spent £100m for a player he hopes to groom into the new Michael Carrick?” says David Flynn. “I guess it makes more sense than Ed Woodward scouring Europe before deciding to offer Ed Woodward £40m for Daley Blind.”

8.09pm BST

3 min: Anderlecht set off on a sortie down the left, Acheampong running at Valencia, cutting inside, veering left, driving a ball into the area. Rojo clears. Anderlecht continue to play their football. Dendoncker, the scorer of their goal last week, pops up behind Carrick and Pogba, sizes up the angles and decides to shoot from 30 yards. His effort whistles inches over the bar, Romero not entirely comfortable as he watches it fizz by.

8.05pm BST

And we’re off! Manchester United, in their red shirts and white shorts, get the game underway. They’re kicking from left to right in the first half and they’re immediately on the attack. Mkhitaryan squeezes a pass through to Lingard on the right, but he can’t find Ibrahimovic at the far post.

8.02pm BST

Here come the teams, marching out at Old Trafford. They’ll be hoping that these occasions take place on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings next year. “I’ve been fortunate enough to bag a ticket to the final this year,” says Patrick Hull. “Being a Bristol Rovers fan I don’t have a dog in the fight, but which two teams left do you think would put on the best show in Stockholm? Any reasons to support a particular team on to glory are welcome.”

Manchester United versus Lyon would be good.

7.43pm BST

After Sunday’s win over Chelsea, have Manchester United seen the future without Zlatan Ibrahimovic? On BT Sport, Paul Scholes and Michael Owen both reckon the future looks a lot like Marcus Rashford.

7.37pm BST

Jose Mourinho speaks about his changes.“It is impossible to play every match unless you are the only central defenders we have in the team. We have a lot of matches. Great intensity, not just physically but mentally. It is important to do some rotation because on Sunday we have another important match. If we have the same kind of attitude, pressing high, being strong, being intense, recover the ball as fast as possible, it is easy for the attacking players to have more in the ball. In the end it is a collective instinct.”

7.30pm BST

“I’m a life long man utd fan,” says Phillip Brennan. “I began to read the preamble then left it. The team news was all I needed.”

And how have the past 12 years supporting Manchester United been for you?

7.09pm BST

Manchester United: Romero; Valencia, Bailly, Rojo, Shaw; Carrick, Pogba; Lingard, Mkhitaryan, Rashford; Ibrahimovic. Subs: De Gea, Blind, Fellaini, Herrera, Young, Martial, Rooney.

Anderlecht: Ruben; Appiah, Kara, Spajic, Obradovic; Tielemans, Dendoncker; Hanni, Chipciu, Acheampong; Teodorczyk Subs: Boeckx, Deschacht, Bruno, Nuytinck, Capel, Kiese Thelin, Stanciu.

10.54am BST

Hello. If there’s anything to be learnt from the fraternal squabbling between Chuck and Jimmy McGill, it’s that holding a person to what they say into a tape recorder is just cruel. So while Jose Mourinho is the man who said the following about Rafa Benitez bringing the Europa League to Chelsea in 2013 – “I don’t want to win the Europa League. It would be a big disappointment for me. I don’t want my players to feel the Europa League is our competition” – it’s also true that people either have to adapt to a change in their circumstances or drown in their own pride and delusion.

The primary target for Manchester United at the start of the season, no matter what Jose Mourinho will tell us now, was not to win the Europa League. It would have been a lovely bonus, sure, but after signing Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the main focus for a manager with as much as a lust for winning as Mourinho and a club as successful as United was to challenge for the Premier League. That they haven’t come close to doing so must rank as a disappointment, though it would have been easier to take if they looked like re-asserting themselves as a top four force again. Sunday’s win over Chelsea was a big step in the right direction. It was probably their best performance since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, one that was full of youthful pace, energy, inventiveness and desire. But as it is, despite that win and despite a long unbeaten run which suggests that Mourinho has hardened this squad’s mentality, chances are they’ll be finishing fifth at most, which leaves the Europa League as their likeliest route back into the Champions League.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/apr/20/manchester-united-v-anderlecht-europa-league-quarter-final-live