Murray storms into final
Originally published on: 26/02/10 13:03
The fifth seed dropped a set for the first time in the tournament but with his opponent tiring remained calm to win 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-2 under the lights at Rod Laver Arena.
Cilic had been taken to five sets in three of his five matches at the tournament and his 6ft 6ins frame simply could not keep pace with the spirit of the 22-year-old Scot, who booked his place in just his second major final.
Murray’s only other final appearance was at the 2008 US Open where he lost to Roger Federer, and the world number one looms as a possible title rival again on Sunday night.
The Swiss will play 10th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the other semi-final on Friday.
Murray had looked in trouble early as he dropped a set at the tournament for the first time as Cilic twice found a way to break him.
The Croatian was controlling the match with his booming forehand and Murray’s frustration was showing as he repeatedly chastised himself for his lack of movement around the court.
The self admonishment worked as he grabbed a break in the fifth game of the second set that owed completely to his athleticism. Murray first ran down a net cord and when Cilic then shovelled a lob over him, he somehow made enough ground to allow him to flick a forehand past his stunned rival.
It was a pivotal momentum as Murray stole the initiative and did not hand it back.
He levelled the match at a set apiece with a forehand winner down the line. After winning the third set, two quick breaks in the fourth had him on the verge of victory, which came in the eighth game when Cilic hit a return long.