French Open: Andy Murray aims to end 79-year British pain

Paris: Andy Murray takes on defending champion Stan Wawrinka on Friday looking to become the first British man to reach the French Open final since 1937.

Andy Murray
Andy Murray

The World No 2 is in the habit of shrugging off the weight of expectations with his 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon triumphs. He is also a five-time Australian Open runner-up but the unique challenges of Paris's red clay have so far stumped him at the semi-final stage on three occasions.

Today, he gets another opportunity to make a first British breakthrough since Bunny Austin reached the final 79 years ago. Only then will the 29-year-old ponder a title last won by a compatriot when Fred Perry triumphed in 1935.

"I think at this stage of my career to do things that I have never done before is nice," said Murray. "That's one of the things that motivates me and drives me. That's why my results on clay over the last couple of years have been really special to me because I never expected that really, and it had come in the latter stages of my career."

Murray came into Paris having defeated World No 1 Novak Djokovic in the final of the Rome Masters but under a cloud following the end of his coaching relationship with Amelie Mauresmo. His campaign was almost scuppered at the first hurdle when he had to fight back from two sets down to defeat 37-year-old Radek Stepanek.

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