Andy Murray maintained his winning ways at the Sony Open. The reigning U.S. Open champion prevailed over the ninth seed Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3.
Despite obtaining the initial break for a 2-1 lead, Cilic failed to sustain the momentum. A few more exchanges of breaks followed. After order was restored and the players arrived at 4 all, Cilic gifted his counterpart the break in a game where he committed two double faults.
Serving for the first set, Murray found himself down 0-30. Still, the Scot went on to capture the subsequent four points to shut the door on his opponent.
The second set opened with Murray getting a break of serve. Later on, Murray extended his advantage by a double break for 5-2.
With Murray serving for the semifinals, he faltered permitting Cilic to narrow the gap at 5-3. At this point, perhaps, the Croat was inspired to mount a comeback. Yet, it must be hard for Cilic to muster belief against a rival whom he has only beaten once in eight encounters.
Moreover, for Cilic the memories of last year’s U.S. Open quarterfinals where he blew the chance to build a two sets to none lead against the man across the net must be impossible to banish. Although Cilic denied Murray six match points, the world number three made good on the seventh try to book his place into the semifinals.