Lowly Murray crashes out to Croat Cilic

ANDY MURRAY admitted he was comprehensively beaten after exiting the US Open last night at the fourth-round stage.

The Scot lost 7-5 6-2 6-2 to Croatia’s Marin Cilic and paid for an uninspiring performance at Flushing Meadows.

World number two Murray said afterwards: “I was a little bit low on energy. It’s not an excuse but it’s not good to feel that way in a Grand Slam.

“I couldn’t get enough returns when the game started to get away from me, or find a way to get back into the match.

“A lot of times when I lose, I get asked if I was flat, because I looked it – but that wasn’t the case.

“Today he was dominating a lot of the points, so it was difficult to get into the match.

“Normally I’m able to get myself into rallies, but every time I had a chance he had a big serve or I had a poor return.

“Normally returning is one part of my game – even if the rest is struggling – where I find a way to get back into points.”

Murray was set to be playing for Great Britain in a Davis Cup tie against Poland from September 18 – but after he finished yesterday’s match complaining of a wrist injury, that may be in doubt.

“I’ll leave it to my doctor and physio to let me know what I should be doing and how much I should be playing and how much time I need to take off,” said the Scot.

Cilic reported a sloppy game from Murray towards the end of the first set had helped spur him on to the straight-sets win over the world number two. The Croatian said: “I was a little maybe nervous in the beginning. It was my fifth fourth-round in the majors. I think I played well today. I served pretty well. I was maybe a little lucky in some points, but that’s part of the game.

“He gave me a little chance a 5-4 in the first set; he played a little bit of a sloppy game with a couple of unforced errors.

“He gave me the chance to serve out the set with the wind. After that I played very well, really consistently and didn’t let anything bother me.”

Next up for Cilic is a quarter-final clash with in-form Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3 6-3 6-3 today.

Meanwhile, former women’s champion Kim Clijsters booked a place in the semi-finals as she continued an astonishing run at her first grand slam event in more than two and a half years.

Clijsters, playing on a wild card in just her third tournament since coming out of retirement having become a mother for the first time, breezed past China’s 18th seed Li Na in just 63 minutes, winning 6-2 6-4.

The victory was the 26-year-old Belgian’s 100th career grand slam win in her first US Open since winning it in 2005.

Clijsters, who beat third seed Venus Williams in three sets in the previous round, also secured her sixth straight semi-final appearance in a grand slam having retired in May 2007.

The Belgian went a break up in the third game and did not look back as she wrapped up the opening set in 25 minutes. It took nine games for Clijsters to make the breakthrough in the second set but once she got it, the wild card wasted no time sealing victory, earning double match point in the next game. Clijsters netted a forehand on the first point but victory was hers when Li returned on the next one with a wild forehand.


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