After defeating 2016 champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals Wednesday, Dominic Thiem of Austria will face nine-time champion Rafael Nadal on Friday when men's singles action at the French Open resumes.
After a tight first set which Thiem took after prevailing 7-5 in the tiebreak, the Austrian cruised to his first win in six meetings with the 12-time major victor.
Nadal reached his record 10th French Open semifinal when fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta retired from their match early in the second set because of an injured abdominal muscle. "I think he's struggling a little bit since the beginning of the year, but he's in the semifinal". "He's a very good player".
In extraordinary scenes at Roland Garros, the Serbian second seed didn't know what hit him as aggressive play from Thiem saw him glide into the last four with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-0 victory. "It's a big challenge but I am up for it". "I will get through it, learn the lessons and figure out how to get out of it".
Certainly Thiem, who has lost all five of his previous meetings with the Serb, is showing no signs of concern.
"Today was a flawless match for me, I thought I played very well from the beginning", Wawrinka told a news conference.
Chasing a 15th major overall, Nadal has conceded 22 games this tournament in reaching the semi-finals - the fewest in glorious French Open career and bettering the 25 he lost in 2006.
His French Open title defence nearing an end, Novak Djokovic stumbled and tumbled to his knees on the red clay, his racket flying from his right hand as his opponent's backhand zipped past.
He wasted two set points in the opener.
Making matters worse for Nishikori, he was broken immediately after breaking Murray to begin the fourth.
Since Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in last year's Roland Garros final, he suffered a third-round loss at Wimbledon. Nadal said afterwards. "Sorry for him".
Wawrinka's lone worrying moment resulted when he nearly turned an ankle near the net in the last game against Cilic.