Powerless Murray is sent crashing by Cilic
WORLD No1 Andy Murray admitted he was powerless to stop big-hitting Marin Cilic ending his US Open dreams at Flushing Meadows last night.
The Croatian 16th seed proved just too strong for the British No1 as he blasted his way to a 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 victory in two hours, eight minutes.
Cilic showed his dominance by hitting 33 winners to Murray’s 13 in earning a Grand Slam quarter-final berth for the first time.
In contrast, last year’s finalist Murray never got going, admitting afterwards that he had no answer to Cilic’s more aggressive game plan.
“I just couldn’t get myself into enough return games to get myself back into the match,” a disappointed Murray said.
“A lot of times when I lose I get asked ‘why did you look flat?’ but it is not always the case. Today I couldn’t get myself into games and he was dominating points so there wasn’t much I could do about it.”
Murray will, however, look back on a number of missed opportunities, notably the seven points he had to break the Cilic serve, which remained in tact throughout.
In particular, Murray will have cursed the two set points he had for the first set before Cilic eventually held firm and broke in the next game.
Cilic, 20, will now play Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarter-finals after the Argentine sixth seed proved too string for Juan Carlos Ferrero, of Spain, coming through 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
Meanwhile, Kim Clijsters continued her fantastic giant-killing run at Flushing Meadows to record a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Na Li to reach the semi-finals of the women’s event.
Playing in her first Grand Slam since coming out of retirement, Clijsters equalled the best performance by a wild card entry to earn a last-four berth against champion Serena Williams or in-form Italian Flavia Pennetta.
“I’m glad I got through it again, and stayed focused on my game,,” Clijsters said. “I wanted to be aggressive and I think that’s what helped winning those important points today.”