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Australian Open 2018: Marin Cilic Through to the Semi-Final

Marin Cilic into the last 4 (Photo: Australian Open 2018/Twitter)

A superb Marin Cilic has advanced through to the semi-final of the Australian Open in Melbourne after World No.1 Rafael Nadal retired in the fifth-set of their quarter-final on Tuesday night.

Cilic was leading 2-0 in the fifth set (3:6, 6:3, 6:7, 6:2) when Nadal was forced to retire.

The Croatian, who had only beaten Nadal once back in 2009, came into the quarter-final in top form, dropping just one set all tournament.

The opening few games of the first set went with serve with Cilic saving a break-point in the sixth game. Nadal, however, got another chance the very next game and this time made the most of it. Nadal confirmed the break to take the first set 6-3.

Cilic, who looked confident on serve at the start of the second set, started to apply pressure to the World No.1, but it was Nadal who would break again in the fifth game to go 3-2 up.

Cilic returned the break immediately and then broke the Spaniard again to level the match up at 1 set all.

(Photo: Australian Open/Twitter)

Cilic then stepped it up a notch in the third set, creating an early break opportunity. Cilic then had three more break chances at 3-4 but failed to capitalise. After saving three set points at 4-5, Cilic forced the set to a tie-breaker.

With a chance on serve to take 2 sets to 1 lead, Cilic could not convert and the tie-breaker would belong to Nadal.

Cilic, who had every right to feel disappointed at 2-1 down, quickly put the last set behind him and was playing some excellent tennis. After breaking in the fourth game of the set Cilic had three more break points at 4-1 up but Nadal somehow managed to come back and take the game.

Cilic quickly went to 5-2 after holding his serve, then broke again out to take the match into a deciding 5th set.

Nadal started to look in some discomfort at the start of the fifth set as he limped to the chair after Cilic claimed the opening game to love.  He played on but retired at 2-0 down and Cilic advances to the semi-final for the second time in his career at the Australian Open where he will meet British hope Kyle Edmund.

Cilic has a 100% record against Edmund, who is ranked 49th in the world. The pair will meet on Thursday evening.

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