Alex de Minaur has battled into his second ATP Tour semi-final of the year, storming back from a set down against two-time champion Marin Cilic to reach the last-four in the Queen’s Club Championship.
Australia’s No.1 out-thought and out-fought the big-hitting Cilic at one of the Croatian’s favourite venues on Friday, eventually prevailing 3-6 6-3 6-4 in just over two hours on a damp afternoon at the prestigious London grass court venue.
It was a big win for the Sydneysider against a 32-year-old powerhouse who was looking for back-to-back titles after his win on grass in Stuttgart last week.
Cilic, a winner at Queen’s in 2012 and 2018 and a four-time finalist, saw his big weapons neutralised by de Minaur’s willingness to run down everything and he became increasingly frustrated as the Australian began to soak up the power and out-rally him.
The triumph set up a second last-four encounter of the year for the world No.22 de Minaur, who had begun the year in Anatalya, Turkey, with his fourth tournament victory but has had mixed results since.
Looking much happier on the grass though after an exhausting clay-court campaign, the 22-year-old now has a last-four date on Saturday with the top seed Matteo Berrettini, who again looked the man to beat as he knocked out British No.1 Dan Evans 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.