New York: More than four years have passed since Marin Cilic's last Grand Slam semifinal appearance, an eternity in tennis years. The span included the peak of Cilic's years as a Croatian prodigy, a player graced with size and skill, but he never seemed to live up to the promise.
The low point came last year, when a doping suspension forced him to miss four months and sit out the U.S. Open. His ranking dipped to No. 37. He drew criticism from other players for the use of a banned stimulant, although he convinced an arbitrator that he was mostly not at fault.
A year later, Cilic has climbed out of that career valley. He beat sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (4), in the U.S. Open quarterfinals on Thursday, launching himself into the semifinals of a major for the first time since he was a 21-year-old wonder at the 2010 Australian Open.