/ Tennis

Andy Murray progresses in Miami to close in on second spot in the world

Updated: Friday, 29 Mar 2013 07:26 | Comments

Andy Murray will face Richard Gasquet next
Andy Murray will face Richard Gasquet next

Andy Murray moved to within two wins of going second in the world rankings as he claimed a straight-sets win over Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals of the Sony Open.

The second seed and world number three won 6-4 6-3 in an hour and 42 minutes, with the scoreline not representative of a hard-fought match in Miami.

Murray was far from clinical, taking only six of the 18 break points that flooded his way, but had enough to see off an opponent who hit 37 unforced errors and book a last-four meeting with eighth seed Richard Gasquet.

Should he win the title in Miami, Murray will go above Roger Federer and into second place in the rankings.

He told Sky Sports 4: "Winning matches is my goal, and by doing that the rankings take care of themselves.

"I could add extra tournaments to try to get to number two but I want to stick to the schedule I've got and hopefully move up the rankings if I can."

The Scot allowed four break points to slip away in the first game of the match, Cilic finally holding after seven minutes - and it was the Croatian who instead broke at the first attempt to lead 2-0.

Murray hit back immediately and two more breaks followed, leaving the set effectively on serve at 3-2 to Cilic.

That became 4-4 before Murray broke again, served out the set and then broke in the opening game of the second.

The Scot had to battle for more than 15 minutes as he held for a 3-1 lead and the two players traded breaks to reach 5-3, with Cilic serving to stay in the match.

As in the first game some 90 minutes previously, Murray squandered a 0-40 lead and this time wasted three more break - and match - points before finally getting over the line.

Murray, who has not yet dropped a set in the tournament, said: "I think it was a very good match after the first few games, from my side.

"Obviously I had 0-40 in the first game, didn't get it and went a break behind but every time I got broken, I think I broke straight back.

"I came back well from the setbacks and used good variation to keep him off-balance.

"It was a tough match, it was hot and we had some long points, long games, and I'm glad I came through in two sets."

Murray next faces Frenchman Gasquet, who upset fourth seed Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-3, while David Ferrer and Tommy Haas meet in the other half of the draw.

Five-time champion Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova booked their places in the women's final with straight-sets wins over Agnieszka Radwanska and Jelena Jankovic respectively, dropping just six games between them.

Third seed Sharapova completed a 6-2 6-1 rout of Jelena Jankovic in just an hour and four minutes.

The Russian broke three times in each set, with the 22nd seed from Serbia only able to respond once as her run was ended following wins over Victoria Duval, 11th seed Nadia Petrova and 15th seed Roberta Vinci.

Sharapova has not dropped a set in her last 11 matches on the WTA Tour and has now reached her fifth final in Miami.

She has lost the previous four in 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2012 and told wtatennis.com: "Well, it's another final. It's great to be putting myself in a position at this tournament to get into finals.

"I don't know who has been in five finals of this event in the women's draw. I haven't won this title yet though, so it would mean a lot for me to be the champion here this year."

Williams was similarly untroubled against fourth seed Radwanska, taking precisely one minute more than Sharapova to complete a 6-0 6-3 win.

Williams will go into the final, her eight in Miami, a strong favourite having won each of her last 10 meetings with the Russian, dropping just two sets in the process.

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