Tennis: Cilic, Muller, Dimitrov into Queen’s semi-finals

Cilic celebrates his win.
Cilic celebrates his win.PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (AFP) – Marin Cilic faces a Queen’s Club semi-final showdown with Gilles Muller, while Feliciano Lopez eyes revenge against Grigor Dimitrov in the other last four clash at the Wimbledon warm-up event.

Having lifted the Queen’s trophy in 2012, Cilic fancies his chances of adding a second title as the highest ranked player left in the draw following the shock exits of Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic.

The world number seven has yet to drop a set in three matches en route to his fourth Queen’s semi-final appearance.

Cilic, who also finished as Queen’s runner-up in 2013, was pushed hard by Donald Young in Friday’s (June 23) quarter-finals, but the former US Open champion fired 11 aces to see off the American 6-4, 7-5.

“I’m playing really well this week. I’m feeling great on the court,” said Cilic, who is chasing his second ATP title this year.

“It is another match without losing serve, so that’s extremely pleasing.” Luxumbourg’s Muller is through to his first Queen’s semi-final after defeating 2010 champion Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-6 (7/5).

Muller has won the first two ATP Tour titles of his career this year, helping him climb to a career-high ranking of 26, and he now has a seven-match winning streak on grass.

The 34-year-old’s huge serve was on full display when he won the ‘s-Hertogenbosch title on grass last week and once again he used it to devastating effect against 2010 Queen’s winner Querrey.

“I was never top 30 before in my life, and now this year for the first time I have a “2” in front of my ranking. That means a lot,” Muller said.

“Those are things you dream of as a kid, so when it happens it feels good.”

Dimitrov moved into the last four with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev.

With Medvedev suffering a shoulder injury during the pre-match warm-up and needing lengthy treatment before he could start playing, it was no surprise Dimitrov won the first set after sprinting into a 5-0 lead.

Medvedev, ranked 60th, gamely levelled the match at one set all, but the Bulgarian world number 11 was too strong in the decider.

Dimitrov, the 2014 Queen’s champion, will be looking to reach his third ATP Tour final in 2017.

“It’s tough conditions. It’s pretty windy. It wasn’t easy to play my game, but I had the right approach,” Dimitrov said.

“I’m just glad to go through. I’m feeling pretty positive.”

Lopez beat former Wimbledon finalist Berdych in three sets in the Stuttgart quarter-finals last week, and the Spanish world number 32 repeated that success with a marathon 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (1/7), 7-5 victory lasting two hours and 27 minutes.

Lopez lost to Dimitrov in the 2014 Queen’s final and will be looking to avenge that disappointment as he tries reach his second final in two weeks after losing the Stuttgart title match to Lucas Pouille.