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ATP Matches of the Day - AO, Day 11: SF

Australian Open
by pottiella (U7028587) 27 January 2010
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A daily update on the key matchups to look out for in the upcoming day of play at the Australian Open.

**Matches will be ordered by approximate timing of play rather than appearance by court. Therefore there may be some overlap of matches.

Not all matches in the schedule of play are necessarily featured.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Australian Open 2010 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUSTRALIAN Open, Melbourne Park SF - Regardless of what is happening on the other side of the draw, today is about two ever-rising players who both make their first AO semi-final, and so much more than a place in the final rests on this meeting.

Exposure and expectation impose on them both, while reputation and rivalry will affect them in very different ways depending on the outcome.

Andy Murray and Marin Cilic have both been standout players of the tournament for very different reasons, but commonly for being irrepressible winners. Cilic may have been on court almost twice as long as Murray, but it almost certainly serves to indicate that both are very capable of fighting to the brutal end for a place in the final so that the past 2 weeks have not been in vain.

Settle in for Battle Royale.

Not Before 08:30(GMT)
R.L. Arena - Andy Murray vs Marin Cilic
It has been less than 5 months since the US Open when Cilic took everyone by surprise and blew Murray away who had all but one hand on the trophy in the eyes of the tennis world media. However, today, though Cilic is once again seen as the underdog, much is expected from him to take the fight to Murray as much as it is expected of Murray to overcome him. The US Open R4 meeting is merely a prelude to this match now.

Murray says that he does not see it as a revenge match, but Cilic will be fully aware that Murray is much more wary and alert of the threat Cilic poses to him, so this advantage Cilic had at the US Open has been immediately nullified. Furthermore, the scalps that Cilic has so publicly claimed before this encounter should have in theory been a threatening psychological advantage over Murray, but is actually quite the opposite where Murray tends to rise to challenge.

So it comes to the matchup. Murray leads Cilic 3-1 in H2H, but they are all-square, one-all on hardcourt, the most recent being Cilic to prevail at USO. Therefore, while Murray is seen to be one of the best hardcourt players on tour, it is unlikely to be too much of an advantage over Cilic.

Although Cilic is reported as a giant in the game, he is only 3 inches taller than Murray, so Cilic's mobility should not be underestimated against Murray's renowned agility. His sizeable wingspan is coupled with a solid coverage of the inner-court. Murray is perhaps a little more superior in the latter department as his major weapon, but it highlights that it will be a little tougher to overcome Cilic than other tall players whose mobility he exploits so well.

Yes, Murray will keep the ball low - he simply has to in order to maximise his chances and limit Cilic in his booming groundstrokes; but likewise, Cilic will do what he did so well at the USO, which was to force Murray backwards into one-dimensional defensive mode so he gets the last say on every point.

However, Murray is a different animal to that day; in fact he a fitter version of when he beat Cilic 2yrs ago on HC at the Madrid Masters - he is clearly returning to a more aggressive game. The intriguing factor is that Cilic has also improved since back then, so just how much he can stifle Murray's gameplan now he knows he is capable will be key.

Where fitness is concerned, Cilic has proved he can go on when everyone thinks he is surely spent; so while Murray has managed to save himself without dropping a set, this will not be one Cilic will easily surrender. It is just that Murray needs this more. Murray in 5.

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Top Draw - SF FEDERER(1) v TSONGA(10)
Bottom Draw - SFMURRAY(5) v CILIC(14)
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posted Jan 28, 2010


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posted Jan 28, 2010

Wheres the Fed-Jo thread Potts?

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posted Jan 28, 2010

dont know what you mean Marcus ;)

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posted Jan 28, 2010

Oh shush... I can always take away my 6 star rating, don't ya know!!

Have you ordered the BeeBeeCee not to link it to the BBC Sport website, so as to avoid an outbreak of numbkulls again? I think it would be a good idea to do so, as Biscuits can baffle them with logic for only so long... <laugh>

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posted Jan 28, 2010

Does this mean Murray gets to be "British" for one more day rather than a "Scot". Also, if he beats Rog, is he allowed to be "British" forever? Or does he revert to being a "Scot" the first time he loses in a Slam tournament?

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posted Jan 28, 2010

See what I mean?


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posted Jan 28, 2010

Can anyone tell me what a WUM is, i keep reading it but havem't a scooby doo what it means.

come on Andy

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posted Jan 28, 2010

I expect Federer to dominate Tsonga tomorrow. Federer seems to be playing very well and back to his best. I think that he might also dominate Murray in the final - Murray needs to get his serve sorted - the second service is his Achilles Heel. However Murray is getting better and better and he is clearly now in the top echelon.

BTW WUM = wind up merchant

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comment by shivfan (U2435266)

posted Jan 29, 2010

I hate to say, I told you so, sister, but....

I told you so!

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