Murray storms into semis after epic comeback

By for on
Andy Murray came from a set and two breaks down to book his place in the semi-finals of the US Open with a 3-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-0 victory over Marin Cilic.

From the abysmal to the sublime - only with Andy Murray do you get such a rollercoaster in the space of one match. It was an incredible turnaround from the Brit, who looked down and out at 3-6, 1-5 after an alarmingly poor start. But a stunning comeback, aided by a nervous Cilic, saw Murray win 18 of the last 21 games to surge into his second successive US Open semi-final in impressive style.

The Brit got off to a slow start and was broken to love in his opening service game; a handful of errors handing Cilic the first break of the match. Murray was looking deflated and despite breaking back at 2-4, another loose service game saw him hand the break straight back. Cilic wrapped the first set up without major problems, and was looking well in control.

Murray was looking back to his old self, moaning towards his box and launching his racquet to the floor after yet another error, which saw Cilic break straight away in the second set. The Croat was back at a level somewhere near his best, and was showing that today with some heavy hitting. It was he who was dictating the points and it was the third seed that looked out of ideas. A couple of rare errors from the 12th seed gave Murray some opportunities to break back, but the Brit couldn’t take advantage and Cilic surged into a 6-3, 2-0 lead.

The dreams of a first grand slam were ebbing away, and at 3-1 Cilic broke again after yet another Murray forehand found the net. The third seed was earning himself occasional break points, but the Croat proved too good, often serving his way out of trouble.

But just when it seemed Cilic was coasting toward a two set lead, the tide turned in dramatic fashion. Murray got one of the breaks back before a more comfortable service game forced the world number 13 to serve for it again. But the Brit fired his way to three more break points, and suddenly the whole complexity of the match changed. Three big serves allowed the Croat to save the break points, but Murray was unperturbed, and earned himself another break point after a long rally. And then Cilic choked, double faulting to allow the Olympic champion to level the set.

The momentum had completely changed and it was now Murray holding to love, making it five games in a row. The Croat was able to stop the run to take it to a tie-break, but his efforts to save the set proved futile. Despite falling 2-4 down, Murray was able to win the next four points in a row to earn a set point, before Cilic stuck another backhand into the net to seal an unlikely comeback from 1-5 down.

The confidence was back and Murray seemed to have found his form again. Some big serving from both players saw two successive holds apiece, but it was Murray who finally broke through. A couple of errors from Cilic at 40-15 took it to deuce, and the Scot took full advantage, firing two backhand winners beyond the Croat to put himself ahead in the encounter for the first time. He dug himself out of a tricky service game of his own with a couple of big serves, before stepping it up another gear. A return winner set up three break points and Murray took the second, before serving it out for a two sets to one lead, despite facing a break point.

In the space of an hour the complexity of the match had changed dramatically, and it was now the third seed that was dictating the points as Cilic floundered. It was little surprise when Murray broke right at the start of the fourth, thanks largely to a tired looking Cilic who was struggling to keep the ball in court. And that was enough to take the fight out of the Croatian, as Murray cruised through the fourth set at a level somewhere near his best, bagelling his opponent to secure his place in the semi-finals for the second year running.

Murray will take on the victor of top seed Roger Federer and sixth seed Tomas Berdych for a place in the final.
My that was quick MH- great report.  Must admit I thought he'd had it at 5-1 down in the 2nd set but our boy came out fighting and turned it around as only he can.  Really hope he meets Fed in the semis and destroys him.
September 06, 2012, 01:46 AM
By sengamac

Andy was 2 sets down to Haase just last year at this very Open in the 2nd round and came back to win that one as well. That's what great players do.

Anyway, good report, MH. Thought it was 17 games and not 18 but maybe I am wrong.
September 06, 2012, 01:49 AM
By Emma Jean

Great report MH
September 06, 2012, 03:23 AM
By Big dutch fan of Andy

Awesome comeback Andy...
Federer lost!!!! Wooooohoooooo!!!!
September 06, 2012, 05:06 AM
By Sabine

Come on my son this is all yours you will be no 1 by end year
September 06, 2012, 05:13 AM
By Davi Glasgow

P2p4u,,,,,, all Murray games live no sky. On phone or pc good luck and berdych good player but it's yours.     
September 06, 2012, 05:16 AM
By Davi Glasgow

Andy gave a very honest press conference as usual. Great champions are those who can turn a match around and then go on and destroy their opponent. Strange as it may sound I didn't for one moment not think Andy would not win, I felt calm even through the first 2 sets. I think we need to remember that Andy beat Berdy the last time they played on the hard court. As they will be playing on the AA I really believe Andy will prevail, and I wouldn't be surprised if the final was between Del Po and Andy.
Go on Andy and lift your first GS, at least he will have 2 days to get ready for the semis and not have to play back to back matches as he has had to do other years.
September 06, 2012, 06:43 AM
By michelle

Have to admit I chickened out as couldn't face a transatlantic flight on little sleep but slept badly anyway of course.   A great match report Luke which once more gives a real flavour for those of us who didn't see it.  It reminds me rather of when Andy beat Cilic at AO and was behind.  I always remember that shot and the subsequent lion's roar when he turned the match round.  Can't help but feel sorry for Cilic.  I saw Andy trudging across to LA before I went to bed and he didn't look a happy bunny so it didn't surprise me he started slowly.  He clearly doesn't like playing in LA and of course Cilic will have had more experience of doing so than Andy. Still it shows Andy's determination and strength of character that he turned it round.  He said on radio it helped when it started cooling down and therefore the court was playing more slowly.
I think the absence of a crowd was also a factor as both Jonathan Ovarend (see other thread) and Kev Mitchell suggest

Although the H2H is in birdshit's favour, I'm sure that Mr L and Andy will come up with a plan like they did for Raonic and as it will be on Ashe that should help.    But let's hope won't be too hot.  I guess this will be the first SF.  
September 06, 2012, 06:55 AM
By Ruthie

Gr8 report.  cheers
September 06, 2012, 07:27 AM
By blueberryhill

Gr8 report.  cheers
What She said  cmonandy
September 06, 2012, 07:57 AM
By circe

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