Andy Murray’s semi-final fight back was put on hold as imminent rain and bad light forced him and Novak Djokovic off court at the French Open.
The British number one and number three seed was outclassed in the opening two sets as Djokovic looked like cruising into the final to face Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka.
Murray wasn’t playing badly, Djokovic was just playing that well but it all turned around in a thrilling third set that held a capacity crowd on Philippe Chatrier in rapt attention.
Murray has staged a comeback from losing the first two sets seven times in his career – famously against Fernando Verdasco on his run to the Wimbledon title in 2013.
But doing it against world number one Djokovic – who is seeking to complete a career Grand Slam in Paris – represents an all together different challenge.
However, Murray found another level to take the third set and then seized an early break – which Djokovic quickly cancelled out – in the fourth before the prospect of heavy rain forced them off the court – to boos from a disappointed crowd – with the Scot trailing 3-6, 3-6, 7-5, 3-3.
They will now resume on Saturday (midday UK time) before Serena Williams and Lucie Safarova play in the women’s singles final.
It’s 78 years since a British player reached the French Open men’s final while France’s 32-year wait for a home male champion at Roland Garros continues.
Wawrinka beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who spurned 16 break point chances, to progress 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4.
“It is a great feeling to play in another grand slam final,” said Wawrinka, who beat fellow Swiss Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.
“It was a tough match physically and it could have been gone either way. He had many opportunities to break me in the third. Against Jo it’s always a tough match, a tough battle, especially at Roland Garros.”