Tennis News Paris, 1 June, 2016. Reporting by Julien Pretot, editing by John Stonestreet (Reuters).

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka held off a late charge by Albert Ramos Vinolas to storm into the French Open semi-finals with a 6-2 6-1 7-6(7) victory on Wednesday.

The third-seeded Swiss, who got off to a slow start in opening rounds of the claycourt grand slam, steamrollered through the first two sets and resisted in the third on Court Suzanne Lenglen to set up a meeting with world number two Andy Murray after the Briton saw off Frenchman Richard Gasquet in four sets.

Wawrinka used his single-handed backhand to move Ramos-Vinolas left, right and centre and it took the unseeded left-hander more than two sets to adjust.

After breaking back in the third, he forced a tiebreak and even had a set point but Wawrinka saved it and raised his arms in celebration when Ramos Vinolas’s forehand sailed long on match point.

“By the end Ramos played better and I made mistakes. But I’m very satisfied that I won this in three sets,” he said courtside.

While world number one Novak Djokovic only finished his fourth-round match on Wednesday after the tie was delayed by rain, Wawrinka is already through to the last four.

After labouring through the first game, Wawrinka crushed Ramos Vinolas to take the first two sets in less than an hour. He seemed en route to dishing out a drubbing when he broke in the third, but Ramos-Vinolas played longer balls, putting the Swiss on the back foot to send the set into a tiebreak.

A string of unforced errors by Wawrinka meant the Spaniard had a set point at 7-6 but Wawrinka forced a backhand error and won the two remaining points.