Tennis-Murray snuffs out French hopes in Paris

PARIS, June 4 Wed Jun 4, 2014 8:52pm BST

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PARIS, June 4 (Reuters) - Briton Andy Murray ended home hopes by beating Gael Monfils 6-4 6-1 4-6 1-6 6-0 in front of a roaring crowd on Wednesday to reach his first French Open semi-final since 2011.

The last Frenchman standing in Paris sent the decibel levels soaring when he stole back the third and fourth sets but Wimbledon champion Murray was in a hurry to take the fifth and ensure the match did not go into Thursday due to the fading light.

Showing few sign of the back injury that kept him out of last year's tournament, the seventh seed controlled play from the baseline in the first set, although the 23rd seed gave home fans hope with some returns from improbable angles.

The Scot stormed to a 5-1 lead in the second, but took eight set points to close it out after the game was halted when a ball dropped out of Murray's pocket during play, sending both players to lobby the umpire before Murray conceded the point.

Murray, who reached his 14th grand slam semi-final, will play defending champion Rafa Nadal in the last four.

(Reporting by Alison Williams, editing by Ed Osmond)

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