Paris - Marin
Cilic dumped a struggling Novak Djokovic out of the Paris Masters
quarter-finals on Friday to pave the way for Andy Murray to become the
new world No 1.
Cilic had lost all 14 previous meetings with
Djokovic but cast the Serb's 122-week reign at the top of the rankings
into serious doubt with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) victory.
Tomas Berdych for a place in the semi-finals later and is just two wins
from supplanting long-time rival Djokovic at the summit.
Briton defeats Berdych he would then take on Milos Raonic or Jo-Wilfried
Tsonga for a chance to claim the No 1 ranking.
four-time champion Djokovic arrived in Paris needing to reach the final
to ensure he remained ahead of a rapidly approaching Murray.
the Serb's bid to register a fourth straight title in the French capital
ended abruptly as an improbable escape act fizzled out against an
The ninth seed, who on Thursday qualified for the
Tour finals in London, broke immediately to signal his intent against a
player who had totally dominated him in his career.
fashion Djokovic then hit back straight away to level, but Cilic's
confidence was undimmed and the Croat capitalised on a shaky service
game from his opponent at 5-4 to grab the opening set.
Open champion Cilic threatened again early in the second, but Djokovic
landed a crucial breakthrough at 4-all to serve for the set.
undeterred Cilic broke back, though, and had the top seed on the ropes
as two match points passed him by at 6-5 on the Djokovic serve.
there was to be no remarkable recovery this time for Djokovic, as Cilic
took charge in the tie-break and closed out a famous win at the fourth
"It's good for me, I played great tennis. He had beat
me 14 times but we had close matches and that helped me play better,"
Cilic told Sky Sports.
"I served really well today, hit the spots well, I didn't give him too many chances."
ISNER TRUMPS SOCK
American John Isner awaits Cilic in last four after he outlasted compatriot Jack Sock 7-6, (8/6), 4-6, 6-4.
and Sock, who teamed up to win the doubles in Shanghai last month,
traded crunching blows as the first set headed to a tie-break, but the
latter was made to pay after failing to convert a set point.
was playing his 33rd match - singles and doubles combined - in as many
days and the American No 1 appeared to run out of steam as he
dropped serve early in the second.
But the world No 24
rebounded by breaking Isner's serve for the first time this week and
then repeated the trick once more to force a third set.
Isner raced 4-0 ahead in the decider, and although Sock fought gamely to claw to within a break, his rally fell short this time.
also has plenty at stake when he plays Murray with the 2005 Paris
champion needing to win to stay in the race for the final London berth.
Results from the fifth day of the ATP Paris Masters on Friday (x denotes seeding):
Marin Cilic (CRO x9) bt Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) 6-4, 7-6 (7/2)
John Isner (USA) bt Jack Sock (USA) 7-6 (8/6), 4-6, 6-4