Tennis

Andy Murray, pictured, will take on Novak Djokovic in the French Open final (AP).

Andy Murray in confident mood before French Open final

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Andy Murray feels his game is in grand slam winning shape as he prepares to take on Novak Djokovic in the final of the French Open.

The world number two produced one of the best performances of his career to defeat defending champion Stan Wawrinka 6-4 6-2 4-6 6-2 in the semi-finals at Roland Garros.

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Now standing in his way, as in six of his previous nine grand slam finals, is world number one Djokovic, who is looking to finally win the one slam title that still eludes him.

"Beating the best players gives you a boost but it's more the way that I played that gives me more confidence," said Murray of his final chances.

"Sometimes you can play not a great match and win. But today I played well, and I think my game is in the right place now. Hopefully I can play another good one on Sunday."

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With his win over Wawrinka, Murray became the first British man since Bunny Austin 79 years ago to reach the singles final at Roland Garros and Sunday offers the chance once again to emulate Fred Perry, the last British men's champion in 1935.

Murray is looking for his third grand slam title and becomes only the 10th man in the Open era to have reached the final at all four slams.

Before his clay-court epiphany last year it was virtually unthinkable that he would make it this far at Roland Garros.

But his performance against Wawrinka showed just how far he has come on the surface, and victory over Djokovic on Sunday would not be the huge shock it once would have been.

The 29-year-old never allowed Wawrinka to find any rhythm, won the backhand contest against one of its prime exponents, deployed the drop shot impeccably, came to the net intelligently and served brilliantly when he needed to.

He also handled the occasion superbly, maintaining his focus throughout and not allowing the crowd, who roared when Wawrinka won the third set, to distract him.

"To play at that level in the semis of the French Open is very pleasing," said Murray.

"There was a lot of pressure there, as well. I was just really happy with the way that I handled everything, and it was for sure one of the better matches that I have played on clay throughout my career.

"To play the way that I did today after a tough start to the tournament, I was just really, really happy with that."

Djokovic has played four days in a row because of the awful weather earlier this week but he did not need to expend too much energy in a crushing 6-2 6-1 6-4 victory over first-time semi-finalist Dominic Thiem.

The Serbian said: "It was my best performance of the tournament.

"I was hoping after the long fourth round that I'm going to start playing better as the tournament progresses, and that's what's happening now. So I'm very pleased with the way things are going."

In Saturday's women's final, Serena Williams will hope to overcome Garbine Muguruza and equal Steffi Graf's Open era record of 22 grand slam singles titles.

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Topics:
Novak Djokovic
Tennis
French Open
Andy Murray

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