Cilic beats Kyle to secure 1st final spot
MELBOURNE: Marin Cilic booked his place in Sunday's Australian Open final after ending Kyle Edmund's surprising tournament run in convincing fashion, winning 6-2, 7-6 (4), 6-2 on Thursday.
Edmund, who was playing in his first Grand Slam semifinal, did display signs of the ability that got him to the last four in the tournament but that wasn't enough to topple world No. 6 Cilic.
The match was evenly poised after four games with both players locked in at 2-2, but Cilic broke Edmund's serve, which proved the start of the dominance he asserted over the British No. 2 for the remainder of the match.
Cilic eventually took the first set 6-2 in convincing style before Edmund called an off-court medical time-out.
There didn't appear any obvious injury to Edmund during the first set and when he returned to the court for the second, he appeared fine and started utilising his backhand to notable effect.
The Brit relied on his powerful forehand during the tournament but some of his backhands — including a stunning two-handed effort to seal the second game of the second set — were causing Cilic problems.
However, as the match progressed Cilic's range of shots assured he was comfortably in control while Edmund also engaged in a heated debate with the chair umpire about the use of Hawk-Eye during the second set.
His angry discussion with the match officials initially appeared to give him the energy burst he needed as he managed to force the set into a tiebreaker, but Cilic's quality shone through as he went on to win 7-4.
Cilic, who lost to Roger Federer in last year's Wimbledon final, appeared the far more experienced player on court throughout and used his ferocious serve to game-winning result repeatedly.
His composure during the third set to secure his first Australian Open final appearance is only indicative of the experience acquired over many years playing at the very top level, something which Edmund was experiencing for the first time in Melbourne.
"In the second set I was up and down with my game," Cilic said on court after the match. "Not getting enough returns back and he started to serve quite well and release his forehands.
"But I just stayed mentally very focused and tried to play every single point. It was extremely crucial in the tiebreak to keep that pressure."
Cilic now will face the winner of Friday's semifinal match between Federer and Hyeon Chung in Sunday's final.