MELBOURNE, January 23, 2018
Marin Cilic has reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open. The 29-year-old Croat benefited from the retirement of Rafael Nadal, leading 3-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2, 2-0 on Tuesday evening on Rod Laver Arena.
Nadal received on-court treatment for a right leg injury at 1-4 in the fourth set. When his ability to move kept getting worse, the World No. 1 was eventually forced to give up after three hours and 47 minutes. “It’s really unfortunate for Rafa,” Cilic told during his on-court interview. “He is an unbelievable competitor. Always gives his best and it’s very unfortunate for him to finish this way.”
Cilic will next take on Kyle Edmund, who knocked out third seed Grigor Dimitrov to become the first British man, other than Andy Murray, to reach the semi-finals at the Australian Open since John Lloyd in December 1977.
Edmund sent down 13 aces, winning 75 per cent of his first service points to seal a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in two hours and 49 minutes.
“Amazing feeling, very happy… it was my first match on this court and it was very special,” Edmund said on Rod Laver Arena after the match.
Mertens Upsets Svitolina
In the women’s draw, Elise Mertens upset No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina from the Ukraine 6-4, 6-0. The 22-year-old from Belgium finished the encounter in only 73 minutes.
“I was in the zone today,” Mertens told in her post-match press conference. “It was a really great match. I played really well, so I’m really happy.” The World No. 37 continued her undefeated season after defending her title at the Hobart International to start the year.
Mertens will next challenge Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, who edged past Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 6-7, 6-2 in two hours and 11 minutes.