- ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament
Murray frustrated by brilliant Cilic as Del Potro drops out
Andy Murray suffered only his second career loss to Marin Cilic as the world No.37 enjoyed a 6-3 6-4 victory in their quarter-final at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
Cilic had only beaten Murray once in their ten meetings before their last eight tie, but got off to a flyer as Murray handed him an immediate break.
Three unforced errors and two double faults proved Murray's downfall in his opening service game, and Cilic needed no invitation to take the early advantage before taking the first set with minimal fuss.
Murray was broken again in the fifth game of the second set, which seemed to spark the world No.6 into life - the Scot responded with three break points of his own but Cilic battled to save them all.
Cilic produced some marvellous tennis to see out victory and book a spot in the final four.
"It was the first time I've played three [days] in a row since the surgery in September, so that has to be a positive," said Murray after the defeat.
"I didn't get off to a good start in the first set, but he served extremely well throughout the match. I created a lot of opportunities to break serve, but I couldn't convert my chances."
Meanwhile, Ernests Gulbis produced a fine display knock top seed Juan Martin del Potro out of the tournament with a 6-3 6-4 win.
Del Potro was troubled by a sore wrist during his straight sets victory over Paul-Henri Mathieu in Thursday's second round match, but Gulbis proved too strong for the defending champion.
Back-to-back aces sealed the first set for Gulbis, before Del Potro took a medical time out for his problematic left wrist. Gulbis earned an early break of serve in the second. The Latvian sealed victory and a place in the final four with a backhand volley.
Gulbis will now face Tomas Berdych in the semi-final after the third seed came from a set down to defeat Jerzy Janowicz 6-7(9) 6-2 6-4.
Janowicz eventually took an erratic first set on a tie-breaker but soon crumbled as his service game suffered; the world No.20 tallied 39 unforced errors, allowing Berdych the chance to capitalise and win through after almost two-and-a-half hours out on court.
Wildcard Igor Sijsling completes the semi-final make-up after his 6-2 2-6 6-1 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber.