Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Cilic in semi final - Rafa injured 

One of the highest quality matches was expected on Night Nine of Aus Open 2018 when the quarter final between Rafa Nadal (1) and Marin Cilic (6) finally happened.

Both had played top drawer tennis throughout the course of the tournament and this would be entertaining.

The two opened with love games on their serves, and Rafa lost just just a single point on his second venture to the line.

Taken to deuce in game four, Cilic simply hit a winner and an ace for 2-2.

In the sixth game, Cilic battled for twelve minutes, saving five break points in the process, finally winning the game with a winning forehand.


Nadal saved a break point in the next game then broke serve to lead 5-3.

Cilic saved two set points with winners but couldn’t save a third when Nadal hit the winner for 6-3.

Cilic saved a break point in game three of set two to lead 2-1.

Nadal saved one as well to level at 2-2, then broke Cilic for 3-2.

Cilic broke back, converting the second of two break points.

Two aces in a love game gave the Croatian a 4-3 lead.

Three successive errors from 40-30 on Nadal’s next service game saw Cilic move to 5-3 and serve for the set.

Two aces assisted with that task, one which was the final point.

One set apiece.

Nadal saved a break point in game three, and two more in game seven, of set three. Cilic faced none in this period.

Cilic saved the only break point he faced for the set in game ten, and it was 5-5, no service breaks.

Two more holds and a tie break required.

As for all of the set, the tie break was tight, and 5-5 was reached.

Nadal won the final two points, the last a forehand winner.

The top seed led 6-3 3-6 7-6(5).

Cilic rebounded strongly, holding serve in the opening game of set four, finishing it off with a pair of aces.

Nadal levelled before Cilic struggled through two deuces, finally winning his game. 2-1 Croatia.

Nadal led 30-15, but Cilic forced him into error twice and that brought up a break point which was converted with a forehand winner.

Three clean winners helped Cilic soundly consolidate the break and lead 4-1.

Two service holds and Cilic was a game away from sending this to a fifth set. 5-2.

From 40-30 Nadal hit two loose shots and on the set point created Cilic hit a forehand winner.

Two sets each.

As the fifth set began, Nadal looked frustrated from what appeared to be an injury, perhaps to the hip. He had a medical time out at 1-4 down in the fourth set but looked to be moving ok after that.

However now it was clear things were problematic.

Cilic broke Nadal easily and at 2-0 the number one seed sadly retired.

Cilic was through to the semi finals - not in the ideal fashion, but he played a great match, hitting an astonishing 83 winners, and deserved a spot in the final four where he will play Kyle Edmund.

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