Murray Wins Under Gaze Of Former Champions
Former favourites return to the pristine lawns for ceremony
Andy Murray booked his spot in the Aegon Championships semi-finals on Friday in front of Roy Emerson, John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Lleyton Hewitt, fellow four-time titlists, who watched courtside at The Queens Club.
Top seed Murray got the better of his frequent practice partner Kyle Edmund, part of the ATP's Next Generation, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. It was the first all-British ATP World Tour quarter-final since 2002 Adelaide, when Tim Henman beat Greg Rusedski, who is commenting for a television broadcaster at the west London tournament this week.
“Kyle was hitting the ball big throughout the match. At the end of that second set, he was going for it,” Murray said. “When he's landing first serves and then getting the first shot of the rally on his forehand, he can dictate a lot of the points. If you want to get to the top of the game, you need to have weapons and he has them.”
Murray is now two match wins away from lifting a record fifth trophy at the historic ATP World Tour 500 tournament. He will face fifth seed and 2012 champion Marin Cilic in Saturday's semi-finals. Murray leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 10-2. Murray, who has won 36 tour-level titles, is now 31-6 on the season.
Marin Cilic battled his way past Steve Johnson 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 49 minutes. Johnson recorded his first Top 10 win in the opening round against Richard Gasquet to break a 13-match losing streak against the elite.
"It was very tough," said Cilic. "I think Steve was playing pretty well today. He was serving really well. He was giving me a lot of trouble with his serve. Unfortunately, I played poorly in that first-set tie-break and I had to dig out this match in the second and third set. It wasn't easy. I was 0/40 down in the first game of the third set and the next game on my serve, I was 0/30. So I had to dig [a] few chances out. I'm happy with the way I'm playing, and just hopefully I can continue with good form."
Milos Raonic eased into the semi-finals with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Roberto Bautista Agut. The big-serving Canadian fired 19 aces and improved to 4-0 in the FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Bautista Agut.
“When I was able to get into the point and be at that neutral state, I was able to dictate today,” Raonic said. “I was pretty effective in that situation coming forward. I served well. Other than that one game, it was a pretty good, clean match.”
Raonic will next face Bernard Tomic, who edged Gilles Muller 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-2 as darkness descended on The Queen’s Club. Muller hit 26 aces during the 99-minute match, but Tomic converted two of five break points in the deciding set to advance.
SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW: No. 1 seed Andy Murray and No. 5 seed Marin Cilic meet in a clash of the champions as part of semi-final Saturday at the Queen’s Club. Murray is two wins from an all-time record fifth title at the Aegon Championships, which was established in 1890. Cilic captured the title in 2012 before losing it to Murray in the 2013 final. The Croat played six sets Friday – three in his singles win over Steve Johnson and three in doubles with countryman Marin Draganja.
In the second semi-final, No. 3 seed Milos Raonic meets unseeded Aussie Bernard Tomic. Raonic has not dropped a set to Tomic in three prior meetings. All 17 of Raonic’s appearances in an ATP World Tour final have come on hard courts. Likewise, Tomic is bidding for his first grass-court final after playing in five hard-court championship matches. The World No. 22 won back-to-back matches this week for the first time since reaching the Acapulco final in late February.
Four former Queen’s Club finalists are among the coaching teams of the four semi-finalists: 1989 and 1990 champion Ivan Lendl with Murray, 1997 runner-up Goran Ivanisevic with Cilic, four-time champion John McEnroe with Raonic and fellow four-time winner Lleyton Hewitt with Tomic.