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Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Marin Cilic beats Andy Roddick in five sets

AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Venue: Melbourne Park Date: 18-31 January
BBC coverage: Every Murray match live on BBC 1 or 2
Daily from 0800 GMT: live on BBC Red Button/website, 5 Live sports extra
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Maran Cilic was exhausted at the end of his match
Cilic is into a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time in his career

Marin Cilic held off an Andy Roddick fightback to win their quarter-final in five sets at the Australian Open.

The Croatian 14th seed was on course for a comfortable win at two sets up as Roddick struggled to cope with a shoulder problem.

But the American seventh seed hit back to force a decider, only for Cilic to seal a 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 3-6 2-6 6-3 win.

Cilic plays Andy Murray in the semi-final after Rafael Nadal retired hurt from his quarter-final against Murray.

After taking the first set on a tie-break, Cilic had a scare when he collided with a line judge in the second, but he regained his composure to clinch a crucial break of serve in the fourth game that proved enough for the set.

606: DEBATE

Despite his injury, Roddick then staged a brave comeback, overpowering his opponent in the third set and racing into a 5-0 lead in the fourth.

Cilic at least managed to break and then hold his serve to get on the scoreboard in the set before Roddick won it to set up a decider.

But the American ran out of steam, allowing his opponent to open up a 5-2 lead, and when a Roddick backhand went wide the win was confirmed.

That win took the Croatian's record for the year so far to 10 wins out of 10, and also saw him reach a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time, his previous best being a run to the last eight at last year's US Open.

"It wasn't easy. I got experience of it during the week," said Cilic following his third five-set win of the tournament.

"I just had a few extra gears in the last set. It wasn't easy when he started to play a lot better.

"I really struggled on my serve and he put a lot of pressure on me and I didn't know what to do.

"But I just took it point-by-point... and then I got the break."

Roddick admitted the injury had been causing him problems before the match, and had prevented him having "the full deal" against Cilic.

"I felt it a little bit the other night, the cold weather, trying to hit through those for a little while. I didn't hit yesterday," he said afterwards.

"Felt pretty good today in warm-up, the first couple games, then I think I aggravated something.

"The trainer said it was stemming from the neck down. By the end of the first set, I was pretty numb in the bottom two fingers.

"I could still hit it pretty hard, I was just having trouble controlling it. I didn't really have full deal."



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see also
Australian Open day nine photos
26 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Murray through after Nadal injury
26 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Henin through to Melbourne semis
26 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Robson has to work for junior win
26 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis


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