Third round result:
A MURRAY (GB) v M Cilic (Cro)
7-5 7-6 (7-2)
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1435: That's it then. Murray will face either Gael Monfils or Andy Roddick on Thursday for a place in the semi-finals. He looked pretty composed out there though he did say afterwards that he was feeling his knee a little bit. Uh-oh.
Murray 7-5 7-6 Cilic
Murray moves into a 2-0 lead in the tie-break as Cilic nets the ball. A testing rally goes the Scot's way as he bamboozles Cilic with a sliced backhand - and Murray is 4-1 up. The Croat pings the ball off the post at 5-1 and things looks gloomy for the world number 24 as he double faults to slide to 6-1. Murray now has five match points. Cilic saves one but goes long to see Murray wrap up a testing but ultimately straightforward win. In the end, Murray's experience and ability to play the pressure points paid off.
Murray 7-5 6-6 Cilic
Oooh the umpire lays down the law when he overrules and calls Murray's forehand in at 15-15. "I'll make the judgement," he says ominously to Cilic. It matters not, as Murray fails to find the return at 40-30 and tie-break here we come.
Murray 7-5 6-5 Cilic
Murray moves to 40-0 with a delicate, drifted drop shot and Cilic nets to see Murray edge ahead.
Murray 7-5 5-5 Cilic
Murray nicks the first point from Cilic but a looping forehand pulls the Croat back to 15-15. Murray levels it up at 30-30 as Cilic mis-hits his return, but he makes no mistake as he smashes down a tame lob. Cilic runs into the net to gobble up another smash and snuff out Murray's hopes of wrapping up the match with a break. On we go...
Murray 7-5 5-4 Cilic
Cilic is not done yet though. After losing his own serve, he hands Murray a taste of his own medicine, breaking the Scot at 15-40 with a return that just falls out of Murray's reach.
Murray 7-5 5-3 Cilic
Murray goes on the run and loops a brilliant backhand right down the line at 0-15. Cilic slides to 0-40 as he goes long and hands Murray three break points. The Croat saves one with a decent forehand and rescues another before unleashing a smash to claw back deuce. Cilic knocks the ball into the net post on the second deuce and nets a low return to gift the Scot the break. Murray kept his cool during the ups and down of that game - and it paid off.
Murray 7-5 4-3 Cilic
Cilic pumps his return long at 40-30 and then dumps his return into the net as Murray motors on. It's pretty much blink and you miss it tennis out there.
Murray 7-5 3-3 Cilic
Cilic gets another game on the board with a flashy forehand and we still await either player to make a move in the second set.
Murray 7-5 3-2 Cilic
Seems to me that we are entering a little lull in Madrid as neither player has been seriously troubled in the opening games of the second set. The fifth game is no exception as Murray easily holds.
Murray 7-5 2-2 Cilic
Cilic keeps up his attacking game and fires down his ninth ace of the match. Murray lets the umpire know his thoughts on a line call but his mild complaint gets him nowhere as Cilic is back on track as he holds.
Murray 7-5 2-1 Cilic
Murray follows Cilic's lead and serves up his third double fault before finding himself at deuce as the Croat throws down some big returns. Murray shakes his fist and shouts "Come on", as he lands a big serve and does enough to close out the game.
Murray 7-5 1-1 Cilic
Cilic serves up his third double fault to slide to 30-30 but a smash and a Murray error ends the Scot's winning streak - and Cilic gets on the scoreboard.
Murray 7-5 1-0 Cilic
Murray reaches down and wiggles his right knee cap but there's no sign of trouble as he knocks off the opening game of the second set with a big serve.
1340: Here comes Murray after that protracted break. Cilic was already on his feet.
1337: After a little chat with the umpire, Murray leaves the court for an unscheduled toilet break. Cilic looks a little glum as he jiggles his legs waiting for the Scot's return. Meanwhile, the Madrid crowd are tucking into their lunchtime sarnies - I see plenty of chorizo and cheese out there.
1335: "Oh yes! You could just see that coming. Terrific work from Murray. Keep it coming lad."
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Murray 7-5 Cilic
Now it's Murray's chance to take the first set. A double fault from Cilic takes him to 15-30 but the world number four nets after a hefty rally. The sweater-wearing lineswoman indicates Cilic went long and that brings up a set point for Murray. The Scot hustles down Cilic's returns but nets and it's all square at 40-40. Cilic nets twice and that's enough to bring Murray back from the brink and hand him the first set.
Murray 6-5 Cilic
We might have a match on our hands here. Cilic picks on Murray's second serve to save deuce with a rasping forehand, but the 20-year-old goes long twice to scupper his hopes of breaking back. Murray has his nose in front once again.
1323: "Magnificent. There he is."
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Murray 5-5 Cilic
Cilic lets three set points sail past as Murray finds his A game at the right time. The Croat nets at 40-15 and then loops an uncomfortable return wide at 40-30. Murray saves another set-point by running hard before unleashing a mighty forehand. Murray brings up his first break point with another decent return and he breaks back with a stunning backhand passing shot. What a time to do it.
Murray 4-5 Cilic
Murray hangs on in there and to be honest Cilic doesn't look like he's too bothered about going for the break. The 20-year-old will try and serve out the set instead.
Murray 3-5 Cilic
Two absolute zingers (technical term) sees 6ft 6in Cilic move to 30-0. Make that 40-0. Not a chance for Murray in that game and the Croat is just one away from the set.
Murray 3-4 Cilic
The look on Murray's face suggests it's not going according to plan in Madrid. The Scot digs out a smash and a decent serve to hold to 30, but Cilic is not making it easy for him.
1305: "This could be a tough one. Andy needs to get in the groove and knock off the first set."
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Murray 2-4 Cilic
A wayward forehand from Cilic sees Murray grab the first point but the Croat gets a nice dollop of spin on his next attempt to level it at 15-15. Murray shakes himself up and keeps chasing down Cilic; it works as he moves to deuce with a well-placed backhand. Murray seems less than pleased and flexes his troublesome right knee as Cilic holds on at the second deuce.
Murray 2-3 Cilic
Murray looks like he's struggling to find his game out there but a couple of Cilic errors and then a well-timed second ace sees Murray get another game on the board. He plonks down on his seat and guzzles some water.
Murray 1-3 Cilic
Cilic snatches at a forehand and Murray ekes out a 15-30 advantage as he tries to get back on level terms. But a big serve and an even mightier ace are enough to see the Croat hang on.
Murray 1-2 Cilic
Murray gets himself into a spot of bother as he slides to 0-30 - the first point lost thanks to a fizzing Cilic return and the second down to a double fault. The umpire asks "is it the flashlights?" .. but it's not clear if he's talking to Murray. A second double fault from the Brit hands Cilic his first break point of the match and he takes it with a clipped forehand that dips over the net. Murray broken.
Murray 1-1 Cilic
Cilic is whacking down some big serves in his opening game but he's just struggling for accuracy with his returns and falls to 30-30. The Croat rushes to pluck a volley out of the air at the net and then Murray puts a drop shot just wide to see Cilic hold.
Murray 1-0 Cilic
Murray opens the match in Madrid and it's pretty straightforward as the world number four holds to love.
1237: The players are warming up in what frankly looks like a leisure centre. The new clay venue, Caja Magica, will stage the tournament next season - should be a massive improvement.
1235: "Hope Andy is awake. I think he's probably over his early start problems - he seems a lot more focused lately... but who knows?"
1230: Hello there. I don't know about you, but I think the tennis landscape has been much bleaker without the hirsute antics of Andy Murray.
Luckily, the British number one is back in action against Croatia's Marin Cilic in the Madrid Masters.
So far, so good for Murray in Spain as Simone Bolelli's retirement on Tuesday, because of a shoulder injury, saw him breeze into the third round.
Despite taking a three-week break after the Davis Cup tie against Austria at Wimbledon, Murray looked impressive against the Italian and was leading 6-0 2-1 before Bolelli quit.
The Scot says he's expecting a much tougher test against Cilic but what do you reckon? You can text on 81111 (UK users only) or drop me a line.
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