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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Big-hitting Marin Cilic blasted his way past sixth seed Tomas Berdych 6-2 6-4 7-6 (4) and into the U.S. Open semi-finals on Thursday.
Cilic, who pounded out 19 aces, had his Czech opponent under pressure right from the start, breaking Berdych at the first opportunity in the first two sets to grab a 2-0 lead.
Berdych turned the tables on the 14th-seeded Croatian in the third and raced out to a 3-0 lead but Cilic, relying on his booming serve, broke back and forced a tiebreak before clinching the match with a thundering ace and forehand winner on the final two points.
Up next for Cilic is the winner between five-times U.S. Open champion Roger Federer and Frenchman Gael Monfils, who play later on Thursday.
Reporting by Steve Keating in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue