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Cilic digs deep to beat Roddick in classic clash

Marin Cilic became the first Croatian male to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open after he fended off an impressive Andy Roddick comeback in five sets.

Fourteenth seed Cilic won an epic last-eight battle 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 3-6 2-6 6-3 in a match which lasted just under four hours on Rod Laver Arena.

It was the third time in five matches that Cilic has been taken the distance at Melbourne Park this year.

Cilic's victory was finally sealed when Roddick pushed a backhand volley wide to prompt the Croatian to fall to his knees in delighted exhaustion.

"It wasn't easy. I've got experience to be here in this situation now," Cilic said.

"I just had a few extra gears in the last set. It wasn't easy.

"I was struggling on serve, he was putting pressure on me and I didn't know what to do. But point-by-point I worked back."

The 21-year-old, who is the youngest player left in the draw, will play the winner of the blockbuster encounter between defending champion Rafael Nadal and fifth seed Andy Murray.

Belfast Telegraph