It was a super-heavyweight slugfest, with Novak Djokovic pummelling Andy Murray in the first two sets, before Murray, like a true champion, rose from the ashes to keep the match alive with a ripper of a third set.
This ridiculously rally-filled French Open semifinal was suspended due to bad light, and impending rain, with the score reading 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 3-3 in Djokovic's favour, but the manner in which Murray played the last two sets, the world number one will need to be at his absolute best if he is to seal a place in the final at Roland Garros against Stanislas Wawrinka.
Andy Murray, unbeaten on clay going into this semifinal, was expected to pose the stiffest test to the Serbian yet at Roland Garros this year, and after looking like it was going to be a tame surrender following the first two sets, the Brit found some serious grit to make a real match of it.
Murray simply did not have an answer to the world number one's relentless, top-quality tennis in the first couple of sets, with Djokovic making it look easier than a Sunday stroll, followed by an afternoon siesta.
Since it was near-impossible to break Djokovic's serve – it took Murray until the 11th game of the third set to get his first break point, which, to his credit, he duly converted -- all the eight-time Grand Slam winner needed to do was break Murray's serve once, and that came about in the eighth game, via a break to love.
The first set was sealed easy as pie after that, and you just knew the same pattern would be woven in the second set as well. This time Djokovic broke a little earlier, in the fifth game, as Murray started to crumble under the relentless pressure from the Serb.
Murray kept the second set at just a break down until 3-5, but when he needed to hold to force Djokovic to serve for the set, the Scot completely lost the plot, gifting the second to his opponent by missing the easiest of smashes.
Djokovic, who probably felt the match was in the bag after the first set, considering Murray had never beaten him after losing the first, kept that machine-like efficiency going with Murray, constantly berating himself as he missed one easy shot after another, doing everything possible just to stay with the world number one.
To Murray's credit, though, he did not give up, and with the crowd egging him on to make a match of it, the Brit finally found some of his even-Djokovic-finds-it-hard-to-play-against touch. With the set nicely poised at 5-5, Murray produced a couple of stunning forehand winners, one an outstanding swivel-shot running from the net to the baseline, which even had Djokovic clapping, to garner his first break points of the match at 15-40, of which he only needed one to take a 6-5 lead.
The hold was easy enough, and suddenly momentum was creeping towards Murray, as Djokovic took a medical timeout at the end of the third set, more to gather his bearings than to get some real treatment.
It looked like Djokovic's plan to break the momentum by taking the timeout had worked, as he opened the game well, taking a 1-0 lead before getting himself three break points. However, Murray was a different beast by now, and the Scot saved all three break points, one via a stunning 33-shot rally, before holding his serve and then giving Djokovic, who was complaining about not being able to see the ball, a taste of his own medicine.
A break to love meant Murray now had a 2-1 lead, which the Brit, who was also gesturing that he could not see the ball well enough, could not make 3-1 as Djokovic broke right back to level the set at 2-2.
The spring was back in the Djokovic step again under the fading light of the Philippe Chatrier, and the No.1 seed made it 3-2, albeit after another long game, before it went back level again at 3-3, with the referee finally forced to push this nobody-wanted-it-to-end match to Saturday.