Murray advances to semi-finals

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He will now meet Richard Gasquet for a finals spot

Reigning U.S. Open and Olympic champion Andy Murray advanced to the semi-finals of the ATP Miami Masters on Thursday by defeating Croatian ninth seed Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3.

The second-seeded Scotsman will play Richard Gasquet who later in the day beat Czech fourth seed Tomas Berdych in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3 for a spot in Sunday's final at the $8.5 million hardcourt tournament.

Murray won the Miami title in 2009 and lost to Novak Djokovic in last year's final.

Improving to 8-1 all-time against Cilic, Murray has now defeated him five times in a row since the lone loss in the fourth round of the 2009 U.S. Open.

Murray beat Cilic in four sets at last year's U.S. Open quarter-finals on the way to his first Grand Slam crown in their most recent prior meeting.

Cilic saved four break points in the opening game before holding, then the two exchanged breaks over the next four games before Murray held to level at 3-3 as both sprayed more errant shots than winners early.

“I played more solid as the match went on,” Murray said. “Once I got back on level terms in the first set I started to do better, so many long rallies, long points, long games.”

A backhand winner lifted Murray to a break in the ninth game for a 5-4 lead and although he fell behind 0-30, Murray won the next four points and took the first set after 45 minutes when Cilic netted a forehand volley.

Murray broke Cilic to open the second set then held at love and exchanged breaks in the seventh and eighth games before closing out matters on his seventh match point by breaking when Cilic netted a forehand after one hour and 42 minutes.AFP



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