US OPEN 2012: Andy Murray beats Marin Cilic

Scrapper Murray recovers from slow start to beat Cilic and reach US Open last four

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UPDATED:

01:02 GMT, 6 September 2012

Maybe it was the rare sight of Ivan Lendl taking his cap off and scowling, maybe it was the arrival of Pippa Middleton at courtside, but something happened to bring Andy Murray back from the brink.

The 25-year-old Scot was in desperate trouble in the second set of his US Open quarter final when both these things came to pass, and they coincided with him roaring back to defeat world No 13 Marin Cilic.

From the dire straits of 6-3, 5-1 down when he could barely get the ball in the court, Murray fought back to win 3-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-0 in three hours to keep his Grand Slam dream alive.

Made it: Andy Murray reached the last four with a tough win over Marin Cilic

Made it: Andy Murray reached the last four with a tough win over Marin Cilic

After finishing he was able to relax and see who his next opponent would be in his second straight semi-final at Flushing Meadows — whether it would be a rematch of his epic two clashes with Roger Federer at Wimbledon this year or a less expected contest with Czech powerhouse Tomas Berdych.

Either way he has two days to compose himself after making what was an awkward assignment against the 6ft 6in Croat look exactly that.

Murray was bafflingly poor until his dramatic revival after the match was moved to the Louis Armstong Stadium following earlier rain. It is a court he has struggled on before and it doubtless did not help that it was not even half full at the start, his mood matching the flat atmosphere.

Troubled times: Murray struggled to get to grips with the court and his opponent in the early stages

Troubled times: Murray struggled to get to grips with the court and his opponent in the early stages

Troubled times: Murray struggled to get to grips with the court and his opponent in the early stages

Troubled times: Murray struggled to get to grips with the court and his opponent in the early stages

The danger signs were immediate, especially the odd manic grin at his box and the curse that this surface was ‘10 times’ fast than that of the Arthur Ashe. The feet that moved so fluently in a brilliant fourth round performance were anchored to the floor.

Cilic’s early break was clawed back but when Murray was broken immediately again he hurled his racket into the concrete.

When two double faults saw him go behind early in the second you feared the worst, and so clearly did Lendl, who never shows emotion at courtside but now removed his headgear. At 1-5, another dismal break conceded, it looked a very long way back, but there was always the memory of the 2010 Australian Open semi-final, when he turned round another bad start against the same opponent.

Slumped: Cilic fell apart in the final two sets as Pippa Middleton cheered Murray on (below)

Slumped: Cilic fell apart in the final two sets as Pippa Middleton cheered Murray on (below)

Pippa Middleton watches Andy Murray

Cilic is utterly inscrutable but can get very nervous inside, and by the time Pippa arrived courtside, Murray was getting fired up and hauling him in.

Even then there were dramas as three unforced errors saw the world No 4 go 2-4 down, before a few errors from the other side helped him back and he ran away with it 7-4.

Slowly but surely, Cilic’s game began to collapse with Murray now darting around the back court and starting to work his backhand beautifully. Only two more games were conceded.