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Murray Masters Raonic Serve; Faces Cilic In QFs

New York, U.S.A.

Cilic© Getty ImagesMarin Cilic reached the US Open quarter-finals for the second time.

World No. 4 Andy Murray compiled a comprehensive performance Monday evening at the US Open to defeat No. 15 seed Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in a fourth-round clash on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“I knew going into the match that I was going to have to return well,” said Murray. “And then I also had to stay extremely focussed and give as few points as possible on my serve away. He was always going to come up with some big returns or come to net a couple of times, get me in tough positions on my serve. But I passed really well tonight when I needed to. Kind of made him back away from the net. I had to play extremely solid, and I did that.”

Having lost his only previous meeting to Raonic earlier this season in Barcelona, Murray was the stronger server, winning 88 per cent of his first serve points and never finding himself down break point. The third seed was cleaner off the ground as well, hitting an impressive 31 winners to just 12 unforced errors, while Raonic had a 34 winners to 27 unforced errors ratio. Murray broke the Canadian four times to seal the win in precisely two hours.

“Not much I could do. I tried everything,” Raonic said. “I tried three different ways. I tried playing back, playing high to him. I tried coming in a lot. Everything really... He took me out of the match.”

Murray will contest his third quarter-final at Flushing Meadows, having reached his first Grand Slam final in 2008 (l. to Federer). He bowed out to Rafael Nadal in last year’s semi-finals. The Olympic gold medallist is seeking his first major trophy and will take on Marin Cilic next. The 25-year-old Murray has won six of their seven meetings, including a round of 16 encounter at Wimbledon this year, but Cilic upset the Scot in New York three years ago.

World No. 13 Cilic ended the campaign of giant-killer Martin Klizan 7-5, 6-4, 6-0. The Croatian trailed by a break of serve in the second set, but responded strongly and broke Klizan seven times in total to prevail in just over two hours.

The No. 52-ranked Klizan was contesting the fourth round of a major for the first time, having stunned fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round and backed it up with victory over No. 32 seed Jeremy Chardy.

The 23-year-old Cilic is through to his first Grand Slam quarter-final since the 2010 Australian Open, when he went onto reach the semi-finals (l. to Murray). He reached the last eight in New York three years ago, losing out to eventual champion Juan Martin del Potro.

“I’m very, very happy and thrilled to be back in the quarters,” said Cilic. “The last two seasons since playing the semis at the Australian Open, I've been having lack of results at the Grand Slams. This just shows I had a really good summer, [playing] consistently.

“I think what helped me the most was playing a lot of matches. I won two titles. Just kept me pushing, going and going after that kind of a game. But I was even working in the beginning of the season. Now just happy that I'm in the quarters.”

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