Andy Murray scorches into semi-finals as Cilic wilts in Miami heat


Andy Murray's form has sometimes run as hot-and-cold as the weather at the Miami Masters, but as the temperature rose in Florida today, so did the quality of the Scot's play. After an error-strewn first set in which both men struggled to find their rhythm, Murray played some of his best tennis of the week to beat Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3. In tomorrow's semi-finals, he faces the winner of last night's meeting between Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet.

Murray, who draped an ice towel around his neck during the changeovers, has not dropped a set in his first four matches and is now just two wins away from claiming the Miami title for the second time. Victory in Sunday's final would also result in him replacing Roger Federer as No 2 in the world rankings.

Cilic, who had knocked out Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the previous round, has now lost 15 times in a row against top-five opponents and been beaten in eight of his nine matches with Murray. The 24-year-old Croat made far too many errors, particularly on his forehand and at the net. The pattern for the first set was established in the opening game.

Cilic, looking nervous, went 0-40 down on his serve, but a cautious Murray was unable to take advantage and was promptly broken in the following game. It was the first of four successive breaks of serve as both men struggled for consistency.

From 4-4, however, Murray cut down on his errors and broke for the third time with a rasping cross-court backhand before serving out for the set. The Scot broke again at the start of the second set, though Cilic, to his credit, finally came out of his shell and went on the attack.

When Murray served at 2-1, however, he defended superbly to save four break points in a 15-minute game. Murray broke again to lead 5-2 and, although he failed to serve out for victory, his sixth break of the match in the following game secured the win.

"Every time I got broken, I think I broke back straight away so that was good that I responded well from the setbacks," Murray said afterwards. "I played a solid match. I hit the ball well and I used good variation to keep him off balance.

"We had a lot of tough games, especially towards the middle and end of the second set. It was hot today and there were some long games and long points, so I was glad I came through it in two sets."

In today's other semi-final, 34-year-old Tommy Haas will take on 30-year-old David Ferrer. Haas followed up his remarkable victory over Novak Djokovic in the fourth round with an even more emphatic win over Gilles Simon. The German needed just 64 minutes to complete a 6-3, 6-1 victory.

Maria Sharapova has never won the Miami title but is through to her fifth final after a crushing 6-2, 6-1 victory over Jelena Jankovic. Sharapova, who is on an 11-match unbeaten streak, will face the winner of last night's second semi-final between Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska, who was last year's champion.

Suggested Topics
people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
newsFloyd 'Creeky' Creekmore still performed regularly to raise money for local hospitals
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?