Murray rallies for 4-set win in US Open quarters
NEW YORK (AP) — In front of a sparse crowd at Louis Armstrong Stadium, Andy Murray didn't quite feel as though he was playing in a Grand Slam quarterfinal.
And Murray wasn't exactly playing like an Olympic gold medalist.
Then the crowd started to filter in, the court started to slow down in cooling temperatures and — probably most importantly — Marin Cilic started to get tense. A point away from going down two sets, the third-seeded Brit rallied then rolled for a 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-0 victory Wednesday.
"He got nervous. That was the main difference," Murray said. "I did start playing better towards the end of the second set. And because I was in it, I started to feel that momentum was with me.
"It wasn't necessarily through my great play in the second set why I got back into it. But after that, I was hitting the ball much better, and I felt confident at the end of the match. I was returning well, serving well, and moved better at the end. It was good to finish like that, obviously."
A surprise finish in the next quarterfinal changed the terrain of Murray's road to a first career Grand Slam title. Peppered with questions about a potential rematch with Roger Federer during his news conference, Murray — who was sneaking glimpses of the score of Federer's matchup with Tomas Berdych — reminded everyone to respect the Czech.
He was right. Berdych upset Federer to become Murray's semifinal opponent.
Murray had trailed 5-1 in the second set before breaking twice to come all the way back. In the tiebreaker, Cilic had a 4-2 lead and a point on his serve. Murray erased the mini-break with an easy forehand passing shot, running off five straight points to even the match.
With royal in-law Pippa Middleton in the crowd, he won the last 11 games to wrap up the victory in 3 hours.
Cilic, seeded 12th, was seeking his first U.S. Open semifinal berth. The Croat had a set point at 5-2 in the second, but Murray hung in throughout a 14-shot rally and put the point away with a soft backhand volley into the open court.
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