Marin Cilic booked a spot in his first Australian Open final Thursday night in Melbourne easing past Brit Kyle Edmund 6-2, 7-6, 6-2.
Cilic, who made the Australian Open semifinals in 2010, never was broken in the match, and pounded 11 aces and only lost five points on first serve.
“I’m quite happy with the performance. Obviously when playing in the semifinals when there is a lot at stake and not losing a serve during the match is obviously big.”
After saving early break points, Cilic jumped out to an early break over the edgy Edmund and stayed in command. Edmund left the court for medical treatment after the first set, and played better in the second, but began fading in the third as Cilic upped his game. And the win moves the Croat to a new career-high ranking of No. 3.
“I’m playing much, much more aggressive,” said Cilic. “I’m feeling that I am, for most of the shots, hitting them really, really good. From the return, moving, forehand, backhand, serving, I think everything is in good, solid spot. Feeling really excited about the final, too.”
Edmund, despite the poor performance today which included 25 winners to 35 unforced, said he leaves with his head high after a breakout event.
“Obviously just disappointed I lost, but yeah, I mean, it’s been a really good couple of weeks for me,” said Edmund. “Just got the experience of going deep in a slam for the first time and all the stuff that comes with it. Playing a couple matches on Rod Laver.
“This type of tournament just gives you the bug to want more. You know, once you get a taste, it’s like, yeah, I want more of this. Definitely go away from the whole week feeling positive.
Cilic awaits the Friday winner between Roger Federer and the surprising 21-year-old Hyeon Chung.
Federer hasn’t dropped a set as he bids for 7th Australian Open final and 30th overall Grand Slam title match. This is the 11th time Federer has reached a Slam semifinal without losing a set, and fourth time in Australia.
“I think it’s an interesting match for me,” Federer said. “I’ll definitely have to look into how I need to play against him because he has some great qualities, especially defensively, like Novak has.
“One thing I know is I’m going to be playing aggressive. I don’t know how I’m going to do that exactly yet. I don’t know exactly how he returns and how he serves exactly. Those are two major aspects to the game. Those start the points.”
Chung, who had never before gone past the third round at a Grand Slam, is seeking a spot in his first career final at the tour-level, a feat last accomplished at a Slam by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the 2008 Australian Open. Chung is not only the first Korean man or woman to make a Slam quarterfinal, he’ll try to become just the third Asian player in a Slam final, after Li Na and Kei Nishikori.
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