TENNIS-FRA-OPEN-MEN

Rafael Nadal celebrates his victory over David Ferrer. (PATRICK KOVARIK / AFP/Getty Images / June 4, 2014)

PARIS - Defending champion Rafael Nadal survived David Ferrer's early fury Wednesday to advance into the French Open semifinals with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1 win in a repeat of last year's final.

World No. 1 Nadal, chasing a record-extending ninth Roland Garros title, had no answer to the fifth seed's pace on court Suzanne Lenglen in the first set. But Ferrer, one of three men who have beaten the claycourt machine on his favourite surface this year, ran out of steam in the second, which he narrowly lost before Nadal devoured him.

Nadal won 10 games in a row - and 13 of the last 14 - to wrap it up on his first match point.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray ended home hopes by beating Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-0 in front of a roaring crowd to reach his first French Open semifinal since 2011.

The last Frenchman standing in Paris sent the decibel levels soaring when he stole back the third and fourth sets, but Wimbledon champion Murray was in a hurry to take the fifth and ensure the match did not go into Thursday due to the fading light.

On the women's side, Simona Halep whipped former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and resurgent  Andrea Petkovic upset 2012 runner-up Sara Errani in a pair of lopsided quarterfinal matches.