ATP Delray Beach Open: Marin Cilic on course for third straight ATP Tour final
Marin Cilic took another step to what would be his third straight ATP tour final at Delray Beach.
Last Updated: 22/02/14 10:30am
Cilic won 6-2 6-3 to set up a semi-final meeting with second seed John Isner, the big-serving American beating compatriot Rhyne Williams 4-6 6-3 6-2.
Isner crashed down 18 aces against the qualifier, who served notice that he is one to watch this season.
Cilic is in the form of his life. He won his fourth career ATP crown on home soil at Zagreb two weeks ago and last week reached the Rotterdam final before losing to Czech Tomas Berdych.
He hit 12 aces and converted five of six break points, winning in 79 minutes and no-one has won more matches in 2014 on the tour than him - his tally now stands at 16.
"Good times are rolling. It's pretty good," Cilic said. "This is my first time ever (reaching) two finals in a row, and now a semi-final, so that's huge for me. It's very positive."
In the other half of the draw fourth seed Kevin Anderson edged past Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-3.
The South African will take on another American qualifier, the world No 142 Steve Johnson, who eliminated Spanish sixth seed Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-2 to continue his superb run, his best in an ATP event.
Anderson's clash with Matosevic was a rematch of their 2012 Delray Beach final.
"I've played him a couple times before and it's a battle each time," Anderson said. "I just hung in there and finally got that breakthrough in the second set. It was gusty and it was tough to get a rhythm.
"I'm in the semis and that's a great feeling."
Johnson, who upset top seed Tommy Haas in the second round, has now reached his first ATP semi-final. He has already beaten Anderson this year, beating him at Auckland last month.
"He's going to have the experience out there, but I played him tough earlier this year," Johnson said. "It's going to be a comfortable match for me because I've practiced with Kevin. I'm hoping to go out there and just be confident and ready to go."