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By Alberto Amalfi | Friday, May 5, 2017

Marin Cilic

Marin Cilic crushed Steve Darcis in 45 minutes to collect his 400th career victory.

Photo credit: Istanbul Open

Marin Cilic played his best match of the year powering to a career milestone.

Cilic crushed eighth-seeded Steve Darcis, 6-1, 6-1, to registering his 400th career victory and rolling into the Istanbul semifinals.

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The 28-year-old Cilic is the third Croatian in ATP history to attain the 400-match win mark joining former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic (599) and Ivan Ljubicic (429), who now coaches Roger Federer.

In a near-flawless serving performance, Cilic served 63 percent, stung seven aces and dropped just four points on serve in a 45-minute thrashing. Cilic won 18 of 20 first-serve points and 10 of 12 second-serve points.

Dictating play from the first strike, the 2014 US Open champion advanced to his second semifinal of the season. It’s his first semifinal appearance since Cilic bowed to Rafael Nadal in the Acapulco semifinals in March.

“This was the best match for me this year considering how I moved and took the ball early,” Cilic told ATP World Tour.com. “This was the way I needed to play. I’m extremely happy with this and am completely focused for the next matches.”

Next up his defending champion Diego Schwartzman.

The third-seeded Schwartzman stopped Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic, 7-5, 6-2. Schwartzman, who converted six of seven break-point chances, raised his Istanbul record to 10-1.

The semifinal encounter will be the first meeting between the 46th-ranked Argentine and the eighth-ranked Cilic, who is bidding for his first title since he won Cincinnati last summer.

Top-seeded Milos Raonic slammed 25 aces defeating Bernard Tomic, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6), in one hour, 49-minutes.

It is Raonic’s third semifinal of the season and first since Delray Beach in February.

The big-serving Canadian will play Viktor Troicki for a place in the final.

The fifth-seeded Troicki held a 6-2, 2-3, lead when compatriot Laslo Djere retired from their quarterfinal.


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