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.
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview