Murray brushes aside Cilic to advance to Miami semis

International Sports Desk, Mar 28 (EFE).- Britain's Andy Murray advanced to the semifinals of the Sony Open in Miami with a comfortable 6-4, 6-3 victory Thursday afternoon over Marin Cilic.

The second-seeded Murray, the highest-ranked player left in the event after Tommy Haas stunned world No. 1 Novak Djokovic Tuesday night, fell behind an early break but used his court-shrinking defense to seize full control of the match against his lanky opponent.

The Scotsman won four consecutive games at the end of the first set and the start of the second set of the quarterfinal contest to frustrate Cilic, who won fewer than half of his service points and was broken six times.

With the win, Murray now holds an 8-1 career head-to-head record against the Croat, whose lone victory came at the 2009 U.S. Open.

Next up for the Brit in Friday's semifinals will be the winner of Thursday's night match between Czech Tomas Berdych and France's Richard Gasquet.

The other men's semifinal will pit Spanish world No. 5 David Ferrer, a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 winner over Austria's Jurgen Melzer on Wednesday afternoon, against Haas, who followed up his win over Djokovic by trouncing France's Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

On the women's side, world No. 2 Maria Sharapova handily defeated Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 6-1 Thursday afternoon and will take on either world No. 1 Serena Williams or fourth-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska in Saturday's final.

The Sony Open is one of the biggest hard-court events on the ATP and WTA calendars.