down cross

Muller nice price to take a set off Cilic

Big-serving lefty can stand tall

Gilles Muller
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ATP Queen's Club
BBC & Eurosport, from midday Saturday

Fourth seed Marin Cilic is the highest-ranked player left at Queen's Club but he could be pushed all the way in a heavyweight semi-final clash against big-serving left-hander Gilles Muller.

Cilic was a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon in 2016, losing 6-7 4-6 6-3 7-6 6-3 to Roger Federer, and may fancy his chances of doing even better at the All England Club this year.

There are doubts over the form of some of the top players with Federer losing in the first round in Stuttgart and Andy Murray and Milos Raonic falling at the first hurdle at Queen's.

But Cilic has been rock-solid this week – winning all three of his matches in straight sets. The big Croat has not even been taken to a tie-break but he may be pushed harder by Muller, who has come through some difficult matches in the last two rounds, defeating fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 6-4 and Sam Querrey 6-4 7-6.

Muller relishes fast surfaces and picked up his first grass-court title this month when he lifted the trophy at Den Bosch.

The 34-year-old's winning sequence is up to seven matches and he was victorious in his only previous meeting with Cilic, a 7-6 7-6 success in the last 16 at the indoor ABN AMRO tournament in Rotterdam last year.

Another close match is in store and it will likely be decided by one or two key moments.

Muller's serve is one of the best in the game but Cilic's first delivery is also impressive. He did not face a single break point in his 6-4 7-5 victory over Donald Young and won every point on his second serve.

However, it was a far from perfect performance with Cilic regularly misfiring on the forehand and needing four match points to seal the deal.

He won't get anywhere near as many opportunities against Muller and may drop a set for the first time this week.

The Czech Republic are guaranteed representation in the final of the Aegon Classic at Edgbaston with Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova playing each other in the last four.

Kvitova, playing only her second tournament since suffering hand tendon injuries when the victim of a robbery last December, has won her three matches in straight sets, including a 6-4 7-6 success over Kristina Mladenovic yesterday.

The former Wimbledon champion is favourite to keep the run going with a victory over Safarova, who had to work hard for her 6-7 6-3 7-6 quarter-final victory over Daria Gavrilova.

Federer advanced to the semi-final in Halle with a 6-3 6-4 victory over defending champion Florian Mayer. The Swiss star takes on Karen Khachenov in the last four.

G Muller to win a set
1pt 4-6 Paddy Power

Muller relishes fast surfaces and picked up his first grass-court title this month when he lifted the trophy at Den Bosch
E.W. Terms
Sky bet