Murray reaches Key Biscayne semis, Berdych ousted

Former champion Andy Murray was a straight-set quarterfinal winner Thursday at the $4.169 million Sony Open.

The second-seeded Murray handled ninth-seeded Croat Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3 in 1 hour, 42 minutes amid sunshine at Crandon Park. Murray needed seven match points to close out Cilic, who was sloppy with 37 unforced errors on Day 9 of this 12-day ATP Masters 1000 event.

Murray moved into his fourth Key Biscayne semifinal by popping six aces and breaking the overmatched Cilic six times. The British star is now 8-1 lifetime against the tall Croat.

The U.S. Open champion Murray titled here in 2009 and was last year's Key Biscayne runner-up to Novak Djokovic.

Murray's semifinal opponent on Friday will be eighth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who sent fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych packing in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.

Berdych was the Sony Open runner-up three years ago.

Gasquet is searching for his first career title in a Masters event. However, no Frenchman has ever won here in the tournament's 28-year history.

The other semifinal matchup will pit third-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer against 15th-seeded and 34-year-old German Tommy Haas, who stunned the world No. 1 and two-time defending champion Djokovic here on Tuesday.

This week's big winner will pocket $719,160.