Andy Murray defeats Marin Cilic to reach Queen's final

Andy Murray can claim a record fifth Queen's club title on Sunday, after dispatching Marin Cilic 6-3 4-6 6-3 in the Aegon Championships semi-finals.
Murray was made to work for his victory. Picture: GettyMurray was made to work for his victory. Picture: Getty
Murray was made to work for his victory. Picture: Getty

Murray already numbers among the eight men to win Queen’s on four occasions, and can step away from the pack with victory in Sunday’s final in west London.

Defending champion Murray will now bid to retain the Queen’s crown for the first time, after battling past world number 13 Cilic in defiant but composed fashion.

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Murray will now face another big server in Sunday’s final, whoever prevails in the other last-four clash between Milos Raonic and Bernard Tomic.

The 29-year-old admitted claiming a record fifth title certainly offers big motivation ahead of Sunday’s showpiece clash.

“Yeah for sure, there’s been many great players here over the years,” Murray told the BBC when asked if chasing the outright Queen’s titles record added to his motivation.

“Yesterday they had Roy Emerson, John McEnroe, Lleyton Hewitt and Boris Becker all here, who have won it four times as well.

“These are some of the best players of all time who have won here.

“So if I can do better than some of them, that’s a good sign.

“But I’m not going to take anything for granted.”

Murray’s last-four clash was a repeat of the 2013 Queen’s final, and once again the Scot required three sets to sink his Croat foe.

But where Murray appeared to lose focus en route to a three-set victory over compatriot Kyle Edmund in Friday’s quarter-final however, here he refused to relent.

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Cilic could find precious few answers to Murray’s imperious cross-court forehand, as the world number two’s renewed partnership with Ivan Lendl continued to offer promising early form.

Even when Cilic found his groove and raised the level, Murray produced the answers without issue.

Murray whistled through the first set in 35 minutes, breaking Cilic’s serve twice, the second to love to seal the opener 6-3.

The opening set’s crux came at 2-1 when Murray had just broken Cilic for the first time.

So often Murray can switch off and let his opponent steal an immediate break back, as against Edmund in the last eight.

Despite the wobble of handing Cilic four break points Murray held both nerve and serve however, and after that swept his way to the first set.

A notoriously slow starter, Cilic lived up to type by shaking off his malaise in a turbulent second set.

Murray saved one break point in the fourth game of the set, but could not defend another when Cilic moved ahead 4-3.

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The Scot then wasted three chances for an immediate break back, and that service hold proved a crucial boost for Cilic’s confidence.

The powerful server fired two aces to complete the critical hold, before sealing the set 6-4.

An unruffled Murray quickly regained his choke hold however, sandwiching the decisive service break between two holds.

It was a lead the two-time grand slam winner was never likely to let slip, Murray duly coasting to victory to book his spot in the final.