PARIS - Chilean 12th seed Fernando Gonzalez qualified for his first French Open semi-final after a 6-3 3-6 6-0 6-4 victory over British third seed Andy Murray yesterday.
World number 12 Gonzalez will meet 23rd seed Robin Soderling in the last four, the Swede having beaten Russian 10th seed Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets in his quarter-final.
Gonzalez, who hadn't dropped a set before his encounter with Murray, will now bid to reach his first Grand Slam final since his runner-up appearance at the 2007 Australian Open.
"I have to give him a lot of credit," said a dejected Murray afterwards. "I've played against him before and he hits it hard, but today he was hitting it huge."
A strong start from Gonzalez forced Murray to save four break points in his first service game and the Chilean survived a break point on his own serve before breaking in game eight with a whipped forehand from the net.
There was to be no way back in the first set for Murray, the world number three, who survived two set points before the 28-year-old Gonzalez wrapped things up with a crashing forehand down the line.
Murray began to enjoy success by avoiding Gonzalez's booming forehand and he went 4-2 up in the second set after converting the last of four break points.
The Scot served out to level the match but gifted Gonzalez an early break in the third set, swiping the ground with his racquet in frustration after hooking a forehand into the tramlines.
Gonzalez secured a double-break when Murray rattled a forehand into the top of the net and the Chilean sealed a third-set whitewash when his adversary smashed a simple overhead volley into the net at 0-5 and 15-40 down.
An exasperated Murray looked dead and buried at 5-4 down on Gonzalez's serve in the fourth set but he managed to break back when his opponent sliced a backhand wide. - Sapa-AFP