|Posted on September 4, 2014 at 1:30 PM|
BERDYCH TAKES ON CILIC IN US OPEN QF
Quarter-final action in the bottom half of the singles draw on Thursday features No. 2 seed and five-time US Open champion Roger Federer against No. 20 seed Gael Monfils and No. 6 Tomas Berdych against No. 14 Marin Cilic. Monfils and Cilic are trying to advance to their first US Open semi-final.
In the first singles match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Berdych brings a 5-3 FedEx ATP Head2Head advantage (3-1 on hard courts) against Cilic, who won the last meeting in straight sets in the third round at Wimbledon in June. Berdych, who reached the semi-finals here two years ago, is appearing in his 11th major quarter-final (4-6 record), his third of the season. He was a semi-finalist at the Australian Open and quarter-finalist at Roland Garros. His best major is a runner-up at Wimbledon in 2010 (l. to Nadal).
Cilic is making his third US Open quarter-final appearance (2009, ’12) and his fifth overall major quarter-final (1-3 record). His best result was the semi-finals at the Australian Open in 2010 (l. to Murray). Cilic is attempting to become the first Croat to reach the semi-finals in Flushing Meadows since coach Goran Ivanisevic in 1996 (l. to Sampras). The 25-year-old Croat has a 5-13 career record vs. Top 10 opponents in majors. In 2009, he beat No. 2 Murray in the fourth round at the US Open.
US OPEN 2014
Resurgent Cilic Reaches US Open Semis
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff | 04.09.2014
A nerveless display from Marin Cilic saw the Croat reach his first Grand Slam semi-final in nearly five years on Thursday as he defeated Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(4) in the US Open quarter-finals.
For a place in his first Grand Slam final, Cilic will face either Roger Federer or Gael Monfils, who contest the Arthur Ashe night match.
“It feels amazing,” Cilic told Darren Cahill in his on-court interview. “I’ve had tough times the past couple of years. I’m really happy that things are working out with my team. It's paying off, especially in the past few months. I'm just enjoying my time on the court."
The Croat is through to his first Grand Slam semi-final since reaching the last four at the 2010 Australian Open (l. to Murray). Following in the footsteps of coach Goran Ivanisevic, he is the first Croat to reach the US Open semi-finals since Ivanisevic in 1996 (l. to Sampras).
After two failed attempts in the US Open quarter-finals (2009, ’12), Cilic made a fast start against Berdych, earning a break in the first game, aided by two double faults. Trailing by a double break at 1-4, Berdych clawed back one of the breaks, but lost serve again in the seventh game to surrender the opener.
An early break of serve in the second set put Cilic on the path to a commanding two-set lead, sparking an attempted comeback from Berdych, who had only rallied to win from two sets down twice before in his career.
The Czech broke at the start of the third set, but a close call on a double bounce in the seventh game rattled Berdych and Cilic capitalised to draw level. In the decisive tie-break, Cilic reeled off the final three points from 4-4, confidently closing out victory in two hours and 12 minutes.
“It was a truly amazing day for me,” said Cilic, who also beat Berdych in their last meeting in the Wimbledon third round. “It was very difficult conditions, very gusty. I adjusted a bit better than Tomas today and I think what helped me was getting that lead at the beginning of the match. I was serving really well; I could rely on it. I think overall I played pretty good tactically and I'm pretty, pretty happy with everything.
“We were both hitting big and I think it came down to who was going to put pressure on the other guy. I think I did that a little bit better today; I was returning a little bit better. Overall, I felt I used the wind a little bit better to my advantage.”
The 28-year-old Berdych was bidding to reach his second major semi-final of the season, after losing to Stan Wawrinka in the last four at the Australian Open. The right-hander dropped to a 4-7 record in Grand Slam quarter-final matches.
Marin Cilic def. Tomas Berdych in straight sets to reach the semi-finals of the US Open