Nadal, Murray set up French Open semifinal matchup

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Said Murray: “It was so dark at the end. Thankfully for me, he played a poor fifth set once I got ahead.”

Murray will be playing in the French Open semifinals for the second time; he lost to Nadal in 2011. In all, Nadal owns a 14-5 edge in their head-to-head matches.

“I need to recover very well,” Murray said, “and try to be especially calm for that one.”

The other men’s semifinal will be No. 2 Novak Djokovic against No. 18 Ernests Gulbis.

Earlier, No. 4 Simona Halep of Romania and No. 28 Andrea Petkovic of Germany both moved into the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. Thursday’s other women’s semifinal will be 2012 champion Maria Sharapova against 18th-seeded Eugenie Bouchard of Canada.

Halep beat 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-2, and Petkovic defeated 2012 runner-up Sara Errani by that very same score.

A year ago, Halep arrived at Roland Garros ranked 57th. But over the past 13 months, she’s won seven titles. Petkovic, meanwhile, is enjoying a resurgence.

She made it to the top 10 in 2011, when she was the only woman to reach three major quarterfinals (although she went 0-3). In late 2012, she hurt her right knee, and her ranking plummeted to 177th last year. But she’s worked her way back, and after eliminating Errani, the gregarious Petkovic kissed her racket - something she said she’d never done before.

“I don’t know what happened to me. I was just overwhelmed by emotion,” Petkovic said. “I had no boy to kiss, so I kissed my racket, right?”

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