New Delhi: Top seed Marin Cilic advanced to the semi-finals of the Tata Open Maharashtra tennis tournament with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over eighth seed Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France in a quarter-final at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Thursday.
Croatia’s Cilic will next meet Gilles Simon, who beat Ricardo Ojeda Lara from Spain 6-2, 6-3.
World no. 6 began the match aggressively, showing credence in his serving and returning well to keep the 26-year-old Herbert at bay in the first set. Cilic served five aces in the first set and made it difficult for the Frenchman to win points on the return.
The world no. six showed why he is the top seed at this year’s tournament as he won 20 out of the possible 25 service points that resulted in him wrapping up the first set easily.
In the second, eight seed Herbert tried to make things work for himself but his second serve let him down as Cilic won eight out of the nine points on the Frenchman’s second serve.
Later, Anderson survived a scare to beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-2.
The US Open finalist from South Africa had to strategise and re-strategise against the Kazak in an intense quarter-final, which lasted two hours and 30 minutes. His big serve, with which he fired 24 aces, was put to test by Kukushkin but eventually he found a way to win.