Andy Murray beats Marin Cilic in Miami

Andy Murray reached the semi-finals of the Sony Open in Miami with a straight-sets win over Marin Cilic.

The second seed and world No 3 won 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 42 minutes, with the scoreline not representative of a hard-fought match.

Murray was far from clinical, taking only six of the 18 break points that flooded his way, but had enough to see off an opponent who hit 37 unforced errors.

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The Scot allowed four break points to slip away in the first game of the match, Cilic finally holding after seven minutes – and it was the Croatian who instead broke at the first attempt to lead 2-0.

Murray hit back immediately and two more breaks followed, leaving the set effectively on serve at 3-2 to Cilic.

That became 4-4 before Murray broke again, served out the set and then broke in the opening game of the second.

The Scot had to battle for more than 15 minutes as he held for a 3-1 lead and the two players traded breaks to reach 5-3, with Cilic serving to stay in the match.

As in the first game some 90 minutes previously, Murray squandered a 0-40 lead and this time wasted three more break – and match – points before finally getting over the line.

Murray told Sky Sports 4: “I think it was a very good match after the first few games, from my side.

“Obviously I had 0-40 in the first game, didn’t get it and went a break behind but every time I got broken, I think I broke straight back.

“I came back well from the setbacks and used good variation to keep him off-balance.

“It was a tough match, it was hot and we had some long points, long games, and I’m glad I came through in two sets.” Murray’s coach Ivan Lendl had spoken in the build-up to the match about the importance of the British No 1 reaching No 2 in the world.

But his player said: “Winning matches is my goal, and by doing that the rankigns take care of themselves.

“I could add extra tournaments to try to get to number two but I want to stick to the schedule I’ve got and hopefully move up the rankings if I can.”

Murray will play the winner of the last quarter-final between Richard Gasquet and Tomas Berdych today, while David Ferrer and Tommy Haas meet in the other half of the draw.

Maria Sharapova earlier reached the women’s final with a 6-2, 6-1 rout of Jelena Jankovic in just an hour and four minutes.

The Russian broke three times in each set, with the 22nd seed from Serbia only able to respond once as her run was ended following wins over Victoria Duval, 11th seed Nadia Petrova and 15th seed Roberta Vinci.

Sharapova has not dropped a set in her last 11 matches on the WTA Tour and has now reached her fifth final in Miami. She has lost the previous four in 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2012 and told “Well, it’s another final. It’s great to be putting myself in a position at this tournament to get into finals.

“I don’t know who has been in five finals of this event in the women’s draw.

“I haven’t won this title yet though, so it would mean a lot for me to be the champion here this year.”

Her untroubled display was in contrast to her two-and-a-half-hour, 7-5, 7-5 win over Sara Errani in the last eight and she continued: “It was important for me to be there physically and mentally because I didn’t feel I played my best tennis yesterday

“It was really important to go out, change a few things and just have a better mentality, be a bit more positive, and I felt like I did a few things better today. That’s why the result was a shorter one.”

Either world No 1 Serena Williams or Agnieszka Radwanska, her conqueror last year, will provide Sharapova’s opposition in the final.