US Open 2014: Marin Cilic beats Tomas Berdych in straight sets to reach semi-finals
Last Updated: 05/09/14 6:57pm
Marin Cilic reached his second career grand slam semi-final as he thrashed Tomas Berdych in straight sets at the US Open on Thursday.
Berdych never fully recovered after making a shaky start in the first and quickly found himself two sets down as Cilic produced an imperious serving display.
The sixth-seeded Czech made more of a contest of things in the third but, having been broken back in the eighth game, came up short in the subsequent tie-break as Cilic completed a 6-2 6-4 7-6 (7/4) triumph.
The Croat will now face the winner of Wednesday's late match between Roger Federer and Gael Monfils in the last four.
Cilic won five of the first seven games breaking Berdych - who had only dropped serve four times in the tournament prior to the match - on three occasions.
He closed out the first set with an ace and then, as he had done in the first, secured an immediate break at the start of the second to take control.
It proved a decisive move as Cilic would go on to lose just three points on his serve in the set as he eased into a commanding lead.
Berdych did open up a 3-0 advantage in the third, but surrendered his break after becoming involved in an argument with umpire Louise Engzell over a double-bounce call in the eighth game.
The Czech raced from the back of the court to retrieve a Cilic net-cord that dropped just on his side and looked to have scooped it over for a winner that then spun back on to his own side.
But Engzell - who was to be proved correct by replays - ruled against him, leading the Czech to lose his cool and then also his break two points later.
It would prove costly as Berdych paid the price for unforced errors in the subsequent tie-break, Cilic completing victory with a thumping forehand winner down the line.
The 14th seed, whose previous slam semi-final came in Australia in 2010, is the first Croatian man to reach the last four at the US Open since his coach Goran Ivanisevic in 2006.