Melbourne: Marin Cilic dominated British hope Kyle Edmund in straight sets to become the first Croatian to reach the final of the Australian Open on Thursday.
The world No.6 powered into his third Grand Slam decider with a 6-2, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 win in 2hr 18min on Rod Laver Arena over the unseeded Edmund to be the first man into Sunday’s final.
He will face either defending champion Roger Federer or unseeded South Korean Chung Hyeon, who play on Friday.
“Overall I’m feeling really good,” Cilic said. “Now I have two days off before the final.
“I noticed in the third game of the third set, when I broke him, he just let a couple of balls go past him.
“So I realised his movement was a little bit restricted, so I just tried to move the ball around and obviously that second break was extremely crucial.”
It was an emphatic performance by the 2014 US Open champion, who broke Edmund’s serve four times and nullified the Briton’s powerful forehand.
The victory ensured that he will rise to a career-high of three when the new rankings come out on Monday.
Cilic will be only the second player outside the ‘Big Four’ of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Federer to reach the Melbourne final since Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2008 decider.
He lost to Federer in last year’s Wimbledon final, but beat the 19-time Grand Slam champion in the semi-finals on the way to his US Open triumph.
Cilic trails the Swiss ace 8-1, but leads Chung 3-0 in their meetings.