Marin Cilic reached his first Wimbledon final after beating Andy Murray’s conqueror Sam Querrey in four sets on Friday.
The seventh seed powered his way to a 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 victory in two hours and 52 minutes.
He will now bid to win his second major following his success at the US Open in 2014, with 18-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer or Tomas Berdych awaiting in Sunday’s final.
Cilic has looked in strong form over the last month and now boasts the best men’s grass-court record of the season at 12-2. He hit 70 winners, including 25 aces on Centre Court.
Querrey was bidding to follow up his impressive win over Murray in the quarter-finals to reach a Grand Slam final for the first time.
Neither player was able to make an impact in a tight first set, with only 10 points won against the serve before the tie-break.
Cilic edged ahead in the tie-break, but Querrey levelled at 4-4 with a clever volley. There was a break in play at 6-6 after a spectator was taken ill, and Querrey won the next two points to take the set.
Cilic spurned a break point in the opening game of the second set and then again at 2-2, roaring in frustration after netting a second-serve return. But a backhand pass gave the Croat the first break of the match at 3-3 and he comfortably closed out the set.
Having gone to five sets in his last three matches, Querrey looked as though he was starting to tire. He saved three break points to start the third set, but was broken in his next service game.
A wasteful Cilic handed the break straight back, but he edged the tie-breaker and clinched the set with a forehand winner.
Again it appeared the seventh seed was in the ascendancy, only for Querrey to break his serve in the third game of the fourth set.
However, the American could not force a fifth as he was broken for 4-4 and then again when he was serving to stay in the set, with Cilic roaring with delight after driving a forehand down the line to seal victory.
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