Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka reach French Open semifinals

Andy Murray hits a shot before his match in the French Open quarterfinals against Kei Nishikori. (Getty Images)

Three of the top four seeds in the French Open will compete in the 2017 semifinals, but their path to success has been anything but smooth.

Top-seeded Scottish star Andy Murray told reporters earlier in the week that he has struggled with confidence and momentum throughout the first half of the year, but he moved through his early battles at the French Open with only minor inconsistencies. Against No. 8 Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals, Murray started slow but rallied after his time violation and managed to notch wins in the second, third and fourth sets to win 2-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-1.

“It wasn’t the best tennis today, it certainly wasn’t the best match I’ve played here,” Murray said after his match. “It was difficult conditions, but I got through it, I finished strong,”

Murray will compete against No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka in the 2017 semifinals, the same opponent he played at this point in the tournament last year. Wawrinka has not yet dropped a set in this year’s tournament, and Murray recognizes his opponent’s consistency and momentum will be dangerous in the next round.

Murray said his goal will be to “dictate as many points as [he] can.”

“It’s going to be very tough. But I can learn some things from last year,” Murray said. “I’m sure he will, as well, and will try to change some things. Should be an interesting match.”

Wawrinka most recently beat Marin Cilic in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 to earn his third consecutive trip to the semifinals.

“Stan has played fantastic this tournament,” Murray said. “I don’t think he’s dropped a set. I had to play one of my best matches on clay to beat him last year.”

Murray will be looking to capture the title that eluded him last year in the finals when he fell to Novak Djokovic, the Serbian star who lost to No. 6 Dominic Thiem on Tuesday.

Thiem will take on the opponent that he describes as “the toughest opponent ever here in Roland Garros,” Rafael Nadal.

“It’s amazing how difficult it is to go deep in a grand slam because you have to play the best guys round after round,” Thiem said after his quarterfinal win. “It’s not getting easier on Friday. ”

Nadal’s quarterfinal match ended early after his opponent, Pablo Carreno Busta, dropped out with an abdominal issue in the second set. 

Thiem is the last person to beat Nadal, and he beat him on clay, creating a semifinal match filled with talent and experience.