Andy Murray, pictured, was unable to start his match against Richard Gasquet on Tuesday because of rain.

Andy Murray bids to reach French Open semi-finals following rain delays

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Andy Murray will try again to reach the semi-finals of the French Open on Wednesday after more rain left the tournament seriously behind schedule.

Murray was due to play Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals on Tuesday but his only venture onto Court Philippe Chatrier was to assess the miserable conditions.

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The delay was not a problem for the Scot, who, should he beat the Frenchman for the third time at Roland Garros, would still have a day off before the semi-finals on Friday.

The real concern is for those in the top half of the draw who have not yet completed their fourth-round matches and face having to play four times in five days.

Among those is world number one Novak Djokovic, who led 14th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 3-6 6-4 4-1 when the persistent rain was finally deemed too heavy to continue.

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Djokovic had looked far from happy during the first set but, after another lengthy rain delay, dug in and will hope to finish off his Spanish opponent without too much trouble on Wednesday.

Dominic Thiem and Marcel Granollers were tied at one-set all in their contest while the matches between David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych and David Goffin and Ernests Gulbis were in the very early stages when play was stopped.

The situation is even more extreme in the women's draw, where the likes of Serena and Venus Williams have not yet started their fourth-round matches and could have to play four times in four days.

But that is not an unusual scenario in regular tour events and, unlike the men, playing best-of-three sets means rest days are less critical.

Two fourth-round matches did finish on Tuesday and both resulted in upsets.

Tsvetana Pironkova had been a set and 3-0 down against second seed Agnieszka Radwanska when the rain began to fall on Sunday evening but won 10 games on the resumption and completed a 2-6 6-3 6-3 victory.

Sam Stosur, meanwhile, took advantage of the heavy conditions to come from 5-3 down in the opening set and beat 2014 finalist Simona Halep 7-6 (7/0) 6-3.

Both Radwanska and Halep were furious at being made to play in the rain and accused tournament officials of not caring about the players.

Radwanska said: "I'm just so surprised and angry that we have to play in the rain. I mean, it's not a 10,000 tournament (the lowest level of professional tennis). It's a grand slam.

''I don't know who allows us to play in these kind of conditions. I don't think they really care what we think."

Halep echoed the Pole's feelings, saying: ''I cannot comment about the conditions, I have no words. It was impossible to play, in my opinion. No one cares about the players."

The French Tennis Federation was offered the chance to respond but declined.

The forecast at least is better for Wednesday, when the remaining fourth-round matches are all due to be played along with the quarter-finals between Murray and Gasquet, Stan Wawrinka and Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Garbine Muguruza and Shelby Rogers and Stosur and Pironkova.

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Novak Djokovic
French Open
Andy Murray
Richard Gasquet

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