Sixth seed Marin Cilic booked an Australian Open semi-final meeting against Britain’s Kyle Edmund following Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal to injury early in the fifth set.
The world number one struggled with a muscle strain in his upper right thigh from late in the fourth set before he retired at 3-6 6-3 6-7(5) 6-2 2-0, leaving a packed Rod Laver Arena in disappointment.
The Spaniard, chasing a first Australian Open title since 2009, was forced to take a medical timeout midway through the fourth set after falling a break behind.
Of the seven grand slam quarter-final defeats of his career, five have now come at Melbourne Park.
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Cilic who reached his second Australian Open semi-final eight years after losing to Murray at the 2010 tournament will face Britain’s Kyle Edmund. The Briton made history with a remarkable 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4 win over third seed Grigor Dimitrov to reach the Australian Open semi-finals.
In the women’s event, unseeded Elise Mertens produced a brilliant display to beat fourth seed Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-0 and reach the last four of the Australian Open. Svitolina who was on a nine-match winning streak in 2018 was outplayed by the Belgian in 73 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.
Caroline Wozniacki set up a semi final clash with Mertens beating Carla Suárez Navarro 6-0 6-7 6-2. The former world number one dominated from the first set while Navarro fought back, holding off Wozniacki in the second set on a tie-break, but the Dane recovered her nerves to close out the third set with ease.