Murray rises from the brink
Women's holder Francesca Schiavone and men's hopeful Andy Murray clawed their way back from the brink to progress at the French Open with gritty performances on a chilly Tuesday at Roland Garros.
Both were two points away from defeat but Schiavone reached the semi-finals with a 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 win over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and British fourth seed Murray floored Serbian Viktor Troicki 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 to advance to the last eight against Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela.
Image: Andy Murray reacts after winning his match against Viktor Troicki
Drama on resumption
Murray, who twisted his ankle in the previous round, is not the kind to give up easily despite his seemingly nonchalant attitude, as he showed in a thrilling match against Troicki.
The Briton, yet to win a grand slam title, fell 5-0 behind on Monday in just 18 minutes as he looked in pain and on the brink of pulling out before fighting back to level at two sets all.
The match resumed on Tuesday with an unusual incident.
A ball boy inexplicably ran on to the court in front of Troicki during a rally as the Serb moved to the net for a smash in the sixth game.
Because of "movement during the exchange", umpire Pascal Maria had the point replayed as Troicki boiled over, but the Serb broke for 4-2.
Image: Viktor Troicki returns the ball to Andy Murray
Murray wasted three match points
He came within two points of victory when he led 5-3, 30-0 on his serve but made a string of unforced errors to let Murray back into the contest.
The 24-year-old Scot wasted three match points but a gravity-defying crosscourt backhand passing winner sent him through after almost four hours, with a possible semi-final clash against world number one Rafa Nadal or Swede Robin Soderling looming.
Image: Andy Murray
Schiavone struggled early on
Schiavone struggled to cope with windy conditions on court Philippe Chatrier as Moscow-based Pavlyuchenkova wore long sleeves and hit long balls to unsettle the Italian fifth seed, who next faces Russian former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova or local favourite Marion Bartoli.
It worked perfectly for Pavlyuchenkova, who knocked out world number three Vera Zvonareva in the previous round, and she raced into a 6-1, 4-2 lead.
But with her back to the wall at 2-4 0-40 down in the second set, Schiavone bounced back, grunting as her game gradually fell into place and her opponent's started to unravel as she won six games in a row.
Image: Francesca Schiavone reacts after winning her quarter-final match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
'I hope I will play better in the semi-final'
Pavlyuchenkova broke back for 5-5, only for Schiavone to steal her serve again and end the contest with a backhand winner.
"I did not play good, I hope I will play better in the semi-final because this crowd deserve to see good tennis," Schiavone, who put some clay on her face after the match point, told a courtside interviewer.
World number three Roger Federer will play local favourite Gael Monfils on court Philippe Chatrier later as he looks to set up a last-four meeting with Novak Djokovic after the Serbian world number two was given a walk-over against the injured Fabio Fognini.
Image: Francesca Schiavone