x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Murray makes no mistake to reach last eight

The Briton sets up a French Open quarter-final clash with Fernando Gonzalez after his superbly consistent display sweeps aside Marin Cilic.

Andy Murray clenches his fist with delight after dispatching Marin Cilic and making it to the quarter-final at Roland Garros for the first time.
Andy Murray clenches his fist with delight after dispatching Marin Cilic and making it to the quarter-final at Roland Garros for the first time.

Britain's Andy Murray set up a French Open quarter-final clash with Fernando Gonzalez after producing a superbly consistent display to sweep aside Marin Cilic in straight sets today. Cilic, the 13th seed, came into the match having not lost a set all tournament but third-seeded Murray was in a different league to the Croat's previous opponents, posting a solid 7-5 7-6 (7/4) 6-1 victory in two hours and 31 minutes on Suzanne Lenglen court. The Scot was already having his best-ever Roland Garros and is only the third Briton to have made the last eight here in the Open era, after Roger Taylor and Tim Henman. He has now won four straight matches on clay for the first time. Murray, who made just 14 unforced errors all match, came into it armed with the knowledge he had not lost to the Cilic as a senior. And they started in scorching conditions, trading early breaks in the first set. But in the 11th game, Murray grabbed what proved to be the decisive third break ? at the second time of asking ? when Cilic went long with a backhand. Serving 6-5 ahead, Murray earned two set points and took the second with an unreturnable serve. Murray, by that stage, had only hit five winners as opposed to Cilic's 17 but the gutsy Scot was proving to be far more consistent on both wings. He broke first in the second set too, showing familiar battling qualities as he got to a Cilic backhand and returned with interest, his opponent failing to make the volley at the net. The Briton was playing with confidence and his error count was low, with his sometimes cautious approach working while Cilic continued to make the unforced errors. Murray looked well in control when 4-2 ahead but was broken in game eight after hooking a backhand wide at the end of a long rally. Murray wasted break points in games nine and 11, and served to stay in the set twice to force a tie-break. He claimed the early mini-break and shot 6-2 ahead. Cilic came back to 6-4, but on the Scot's third set point, the Croat went wide with a forehand and Murray was on the brink of the quarter-finals. He broke in the second game of the third set and after Murray had gone 3-0 up, Cilic sent for the trainer, who applied treatment on the player's left thigh, injured during a vain attempt to retrieve a Murray lob. Murray would later be broken but he had no problems clinching the match.

* PA Sport