China Open: Andy Murray beats Marin Cilic to reach semi-finals
Last updated on .From the section Tennis
Andy Murray reached the semi-finals of the China Open with a 6-1 6-4 win over US Open champion Marin Cilic.
The British number one, 27, was in impressive form as he wrapped up victory in one hour and 38 minutes.
He faces Novak Djokovic in the last four on Saturday after the world number one beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 6-4.
Second seed Rafael Nadal, in his first tournament following a wrist injury, was knocked out by Slovakian qualifier Martin Klizan 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 6-3.
World number 56 Klizan, who came from a break down in the second and third sets, will face Tomas Berdych in the other semi-final after the Czech defeated American John Isner 6-1 6-4.
|Race to London|
|Qualified: 1st: Novak Djokovic (8,150 points); 2nd: Roger Federer (7,020); 3rd: Rafael Nadal (6,645)|
|Still to qualify:4th: Stan Wawrinka (4,795), 5th: Marin Cilic (3,935), 6th: Kei Nishikori (3,845), 7th: David Ferrer (3,535), 8th: Tomas Berdych (3,510), 9th: Milos Raonic (3,440), 10th: Andy Murray (3,405)|
|Murray's schedule: Beijing - 500 points to the winner; Shanghai - 1,000; Paris - 1,000|
Djokovic survived six break points against Dimitrov to claim a 22nd consecutive win at the China Open.
He defeated Murray in four sets at the US Open last month, and leads 13-8 in their head-to-head meetings.
"It will be very good for me to get that match and see if I can make some improvements from the US Open," said Murray.
"If I play like I did at the US Open, I'll definitely give myself an opportunity."
Cilic, the world number nine, is the highest-ranked player Murray has beaten since winning Wimbledon last year.
The Croat, 26, had won 10 matches in a row before the quarter-final, starting with his triumphant run at Flushing Meadows.
Murray created break-point chances in all Cilic's service games in the first set - he converted three - and took seven games in a row with powerful hitting from both wings.
Murray, who had won nine of their previous 11 meetings, saved break points at 1-1 and 3-3 before securing his semi-final place when Cilic netted a low volley.
Victory boasted Murray's hopes of qualifying for November's season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
The Scot, seeking back-to-back titles after winning the Shenzhen Open on Sunday, began the week 10th in the Race to London standings, with the top eight qualifying.