Good evening everyone and welcome to our live coverage as reigning US Open champion Marin Cilic
takes on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
in the first men's quarter-final at Flushing Meadows.
Cilic looked in standout form against Jeremy Chardy in the last round, where the champ produced 23 aces en route to a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6, 6-1 win.
These two players have met five times before, where Cilic has been able to build a 4-1 record against his French opponent.
Cilic has won the last three encounters between these two players. The Croatian has won six consecutive sets against Tsonga, winning three straight encounters in Miami 2013, Rotterdam 2014 and Monte Carlo 2015.
Tsonga should be nice and rested ahead of this fixture after he breezed beyond fellow countryman Benoit Paire 6-4 6-3 6-4 in just over an hour and 40 minutes on Louis Armstrong Stadium earlier this week.
Tsonga has been speaking about Cilic ahead of this clash. Here is what he had to say to the ATP World Tour: "Now I will play against Marin. He's a good player. He beat me a few times in the past in big matches. For me, it's going to be important to prepare for this match as well as possible and try to find a way to go through."
The players are now running through their warmups and we will be bringing you all of the action once it gets underway... Tsonga to serve!
Cilic's return is long to push Tsonga into an early lead, and he then marches on with a killer ace at 125mph, followed by more strong service work. Easy from the Frenchman!
Cilic temps Tsonga in after a long rally, leaving the Croatian to take an opening lead. Strong service sees a long return from the Frenchman. An ace brings it to 40-0, before a net-bound return from Tsonga brings an end to game two.
Wonderful service stuff from Tsonga! He moves into a 40-0 lead with some winners and a standout ace. The Frenchman caps off the game when Cilic fails with his forehand on the return.
Huge ace at 127mph gets things moving for Cilic, who is then undone by a booming effort down the line from Tsonga. Tsonga sees a point overturned with a challenge, and Cilic puts on the pace to close out game four by forcing the number 19 seed into consecutive backhand errors.
A short rally presents Tsonga with the chance to eventually open up his body, and he does well to score down the line. More power moves from the Frenchman see him go into a 40-0 lead (his best coming off a wonderful swipe across the court) before dropping his first point of the game. Tsonga eventually takes the game after a couple of drops with a swooping forehand.
Cilic sets up some defensive play with a rally, before eventually moving to oust Tsonga back down the line. A wayward return from the champion flies wide, but he is soon back on the money with a tank forehand. Cilic seeks to open up, but can only crunch wide at 40-30. Tsonga reaches deuce when a return goes beyond, and the Frenchman goes one better by bullying Cilic with a powerful one that forces the Croatian far too deep. Deuce is reached after some industry from the server, but Tsonga is back once more to take another advantage with a smash at the net. More fight from Cilic brings back parity, before he forces himself ahead to claim an important break.
Tsonga is back to his power game on service - these two look really well matched at the moment! The Frenchman gives away a double fault at 30-15, but pushes ahead with two aces to finish things off and add some glamour to a match full of industry.
Tsonga somehow manages to hang on in there to battle back to 30-30 after Cilic faults on a poor smash. Cilic does not give an inch next up, though, as some pressure plays bring the game back in the champion's favour... 4-4 and nothing to call between these two men at the moment.
BREAK! Tsonga opens up with a huge forehand winner to move 30-15 in front, but Cilic responds with a magical backhand to draw parity. More clever attacking gives Cilic a smash at the net to move onto advantage, but his lead falters after he sends one too long. Deuce continues for a number of plays, until Cilic wins out on a challenge and takes the break when Tsonga fires beyond the baseline. The wall has finally been torn down...
SET! Cilic continues his precision on serve and forces Tsonga wide on the return. Tsonga's radar fails him once more with another poor reply at 30-15. An ace pushes things to 40-15, leaving Cilic to seal the set when Tsonga throws a final return wide.
How does Tsonga respond? Tentatively at first, before going on lead 30-15 with a jabbed shot down the line. Thanks come back to level when the Frenchman sends a backhand into the net. Continued mistakes from both men leave Tsonga on advantage, and he holds with a forceful forehand deep.
Cilic looks unmovable as it stands as he powers in front at 40-0. Marin completes proceedings with an ace that leaves Tsonga speechless.
Tsonga is looking a touch frustrated at the moment, with Cilic cancelling out his power with some fine return placement. The Frenchman has just about enough to move out 40-30 in front, only to fall back to deuce with a wayward forehand. The number 19 seed does not give up and replies with a huge bullet into the corner. He then holds when Cilic goes long.
Cilic is yet to break much of a sweat and he shows his class with a big ace to open up game four. More precision from the Croatian contributes to a 40-0 lead. Tsonga grabs a solitary point back, but he is left for dead next time when he has no answers to Cilic's placement.
BREAK! Tsonga keeps his concentration to go 30-0 out in front, but Cilic's defence comes good as he draws mistakes at 30-30. The scores then advance to deuce for a while, before Cilic profits from a backhand error and a poor double fault to eventually take a vital break.
Not the best from Cilic early on as he moves behind 30-0 following two weak serves. His class does not retreat forever, though, and he strikes back with an ace followed by a forehand winner to make it 30-30. Cilic continues the comeback with a service winner, while an ace adds the icing on the cake. Break and hold completed by the Croatian!
Tsonga does all he can to force the issue by responding with an unchallenged service game. An ace caps off some thunderous work on the serve. He's going to have to do more of this to apply any kind of pressure on Cilic, who looks on course to win this at the moment.
Unlucky for Tsonga as his wide return clips the net. Cilic takes advantage to grab an ace and move 30-0 in front of his French opponent. Tsonga flaps at a standard return to give Cilic a cheap point, allowing the Croatian to hold with relative ease. Nothing offered from the number 19 seed in that game.
Tsonga is a little more concentrated in this one, as his service game rattles beyond Cilic with the champion only able to grab one point in response. Cilic, however, is now serving to take a two-set lead in this contest...
SET! Huge ace puts Cilic ahead at the first time of asking, and he follows up by forcing Tsonga to return long. Cilic switches to power next and Tsonga can only send a response high and beyond the baseline. Cilic takes the set with a strong push back down the line. He has looked in total control since breaking in the first set.
Tsonga looks done to be honest - his body language has been so poor despite continued attempts from his team to boost his spirits. Cilic has picked him apart and he has only really had his forehand to fall back on. The Frenchman is having a chat with a medical professional at the moment. It looks like he could have a slight issue with his left knee.
Yep, a medical timeout is called. Tsonga is going to have his knee taped up for the remainder.
Subdued isn't even the word for this game right now, with Cilic in total control. Tsonga does respond, though, by producing an unchallenged service game to open the third set.
Whatever Tsonga can do, Cilic can perhaps do better: the Croatian returns with an untouchable game of his own, which is concluded with an ace.
Tsonga does not start too well given that he comes up with an opening double fault. The rest of the game is pretty special, though, as the Frenchman thrashes his way past Cilic with almost unplayable forehands.
We might be looking at Cilic as a potential consecutive Open winner after this showing. He is rarely making Tsonga work for everything, his placement has been top drawer. The Croatian shows glimpses of wastefulness to chuck a 30-30 lead, only to battle back from 40-30 down to claim the hold after wonderful positioning on the serve. Fantastic comeback from Cilic!
Interesting service game from Tsonga who slaughters Cilic's forehand and backhand - where has that been all evening? He's had the power at points, but he does not quite know how to consistently apply the pressure to the Croatian, who has picked him apart at the vital moments.
It feels like Cilic is just waiting for the moment to turn the screw. More clever placement prevents Tsonga from returning adequately and the score moves to 30-0. Cilic makes it three each with a smash winner and an tame Tsonga backhand.
Could we be heading for a tiebreak? Tsonga finds more consistency on his service and Cilic has no reply to a game that passes with no points for the Croatian.
BREAK! Cheers ring around the ground as Tsonga moves in front off Cilic's serve for what seems like the first time in ages. The Croatian is straight back into his stride, however, when Tsonga fails on his simple return. Cilic tries to force the issue, but hands over break point. The Frenchman cannot take it after striking the net again. Tsonga takes the advantage at the next time of asking, though, with a forehand punch. The break arrives when Cilic fires a return long. Game on? Probably not...
SET! Back on his favoured own serve, Tsonga pushes forward into a 40-30 lead despite the fillip of a Cilic challenge. The big Frenchman takes the set with an ace! Could this actually happen? Like, actually?
Can Tsonga pull this back? Cilic does not think so as he bruises past his opponent with the perfect service game. Not a blemish on the Croatian during that one...
Cilic shows some power for the first time in a while off Tsonga's service to pull level in the corner at 15 each. Tsonga responds with a huge ace to take the lead, and Cilic comes up short on his return to follow. The Frenchman kills off the game with perhaps the shot of the night with a desperate swipe down the line from way out wide.
Crunch! Cilic sends Tsonga packing with a brutish smash down into the corner, but he cannot follow up as he cuts poorly into the net to give Tsonga a slight shout at 40-30. It does not last long, though, as Tsonga surrenders with a poor slice into the net.
Tsonga responds with some bully tactics deep, and Cilic's techniques leaves him for once in the contest as he makes continuous mistakes to give his opponent an easy hold.
Wonderful stuff now from Tsonga as he hangs deep on the rally before making his rush at the vital moment to earn himself the chance of a break point. The Frenchman's advantage is then nullified when Cilic sends one tight in, leaving Tsonga's rushed return to find the net. More wonderful placement down the line from the champion produces another short French return. Cilic completes a fantastic hold as Tsonga goes long and is then beaten by an ace.
Surely not another tiebreak? More brutal serving from Tsonga gives him a 30-15 lead. Poor returning from Cilic allows a second serve to score. Tsonga soon closes the game out despite the emergence of a couple of unnecessary mistakes.
Marin opens up to score with a 20th ace, before Tsonga loops a wayward return wide. The Frenchman comes back with good placement, but the Croatian seals the game with a decent second serve and the most lethal of forehand crunches from deep.
Tsonga's challenge brings an early reward, but Cilic hits back when the Frenchman's forehand deserts him. Another poor unforced backhand error puts Cilic 30-15 in front, which is then reduced to 30-30 with powerful hitting from the number 19 man. Tsonga advances down the track at the right time to induce a smash and take the lead. The 30-year-old completes his hold by pushing the ball hard into Cilic at the net.
Fantastic rallying gets Cilic's service game moving, with Tsonga ultimately cutting into the net to fall behind. An ace from the Croatian makes it 30-0, before another poor return puts the champion in a commanding position. Cilic seals a hold of his own with a unplayable serve. Tsonga has definitely come back into this, but both players are cancelling each other out on their respective service games. A tiebreaker in the fourth looks pretty likely as it stands, unless Cilic can break now and take the contest!
Cilic triumphs early in the 10th when Tsonga cannot return on his forehand. The Frenchman gets in a right pickle at the net and splices another shot wide. Ahead at 30-0, Cilic surrenders to a standout ace, but keeps a point advantage over the server. More wayward return work during a rally presents Cilic with two match points. Cilic chokes twice in a row to drop things back to deuce. Tsonga responds with fantastic attacking work on the push, before completing a wonderful comeback to hold as Cilic falters on a return. Amazing stuff on Ashe!
Gasps ring out on Ashe as Cilic gets lucky with the net to help him towards a 30-15 advantage. Tsonga then puts his weight behind a return that goes an inch too deep, allowing Cilic to see out a hold when he gets the rub of another Tsonga mistake. A break now would win this for Cilic!
Cilic has dipped a little for sure, but that does not stop him from applying serious pressure during this service game. The champion throws a bullet past a rushing Tsonga to make it 30-15, but cannot score off a wide one that favours his French opponent. Hmm, not great from Jo-Wilfriend who throws a tame one out the back of the court to give Cilic a third match point. He cannot accept after a poor shot of his own slices into the net. A wild swing lands within the boundaries for Tsonga, who then closes the hold as Cilic fires a terrible response beyond the baseline. Tiebreak it is, then. We could have a huge comeback on our hands here!
Cilic starts off with a service that does for Tsonga, before he disappoints with a wild hack that flies wide of the baseline. 1-1...
An immense ace of 136mph helps Tsonga out massively, and he then misses out as Cilic challenges his double fault to earn another play at the point. Cilic comes up strong with an ace of his own to make it 2-2 after four.
Hmm no good this time from Cilic who double faults, leaving Tsonga to capitalise at 4-2 when the Croatian pings a return beyond the baseline. He may well take this to a fifth - incredible scenes!
More great service from Tsonga gives him a 5-2, but he gives Cilic as sniff with a long return to make it 5-3.
Cilic should have called for a challenge, but Tsonga escapes to put himself in front with three set points in the breaker! He takes the set with a wonderful service winner.
SET! How has he done this? He has escaped from three match points already and clearly has the momentum going into the fifth and final deciding set. Cilic should be in the showers thinking about the semis by now, but he has thrown away this game despite being in total control at several different points in the encounter.
Cilic tries to regroup quickly and seems like he has done so by going 30-15 in front on Tsonga's serve. The Frenchman goes for a hard and wide one but comes up short. Cilic battles to give himself a break point at 40-30, which he cannot take as he finds the net. Another chance passed, how many more? He has only converted two out of 13 today. An ace puts Tsonga ahead and he completes the hold when Cilic punches wide.
Both players are clearly tiring and it's Cilic who profits this time when Tsonga jabs wide. Cilic completes his own hold without much resistance.
A longstanding rally comes to an abrupt end as Cilic drops over the net to go ahead on Tsonga's play. The Frenchman bites back with strong service and then makes it 30-15 with a beautiful whip from deep that leaves Cilic gobsmacked. More average work from Cilic puts his opponent 40-30 ahead. The game is soon over as Tsonga pings in an ace that outlasts a challenge from the Croatian.
I eat my words from earlier, I'm not so sure about Cilic now! Tsonga keeps the same drab expression on his face as he has done all evening. However, he does extremely well to keep in touch with Cilic at 30-30. The Croatian goes for a needless conservative drop over the net and fails, leaving Tsonga with a massive break point. Cilic responds with a huge ace to counter, which is followed by a Tsonga wide one. Cilic just about holds on with another good ace.
BREAK! Cilic moving through the gears now just as I started to shout him down. He rushes the net to blast past an on-rushing Tsonga for a 30-0 lead. Tsonga fires his next return deep to hand Cilic three break points. He seals things at the first time of asking when Tsonga goes for an attack but sends a terrible one long. Is this a match-defining moment?
Where is this heading? Tsonga comes up good with a pass down the line to go ahead at 30-15, only for Cilic to battle back with a handful of world-class returns to keep in it at 30-30. Tsonga tries to stay in the hunt on the rally, but fires his forehand beyond. Cilic steps up to close out his break and hold with an ace at 124mph. Can he covert this now? He has been in a commanding position several times tonight.
Tsonga falters slightly on his own serve to leave Cilic ahead at 30-15. Marin is stunned when the Frenchman blasts a full-blooded swing across the court to level proceedings. A deft chip tight in moves Tsonga back ahead at 40-30, only for Cilic to respond with a mammoth backhand to reach deuce. Tsonga opens up at the vital moment to force a point down the line. The big man takes it with a strong serve that forces Cilic to return long. What a wonderful hold from Jo-Wilfried!
Cilic is still in control being a break up and he shows his class with a brilliant ace. He follows up with a great service winner to move things to 40-0. He concludes proceedings with the most beautiful of drops from fairly deep, leaving Tsonga stranded. Cilic raced through that game!
Wow... Cilic comes up with the goods to curl an unbelievable shot down the line past Tsonga. The Croatian tries an improbable lob and comes unstuck despite having a 30-15 advantage on Tsonga's serve. The Frenchman draws level as Cilic fails on the forehand and then pushes one deep that leaves Cilic stretching to punch into the net. Tsonga holds out with a huge forehand swipe. Another superb hold, but it might not be enough. Cilic is now serving for the game!
GAME, SET & MATCH! Clever work at the net from Cilic puts him 15-0 ahead, as Tsonga cannot make enough ground from the baseline. The Frenchman responds, however, with a tidy push that tucks Cilic up on his own side. Hmm, really? Tsonga goes ahead now at 30-15 when Cilic chucks into the net, but scores are then level following an impressive ace from the reigning champ. Another standout ace follows, only for a fifth double fault to put the party on hold. Cilic goes all over the place with a wide return, putting Tsonga on the brink of a break. Cilic rushes the net to bring back deuce. The Croatian keeps his head and wrong-foots Tsonga to establish a sixth match point, which he eventually completes when a classy forehand sees Tsonga send his return long.
What a way to open the quarter-finals in the men's draw. Cilic proceeds into the semis with a victory over five sets against Tsonga, who showed great determination to fight back from two sets down to push this right to the wire.
Cilic will have a lot of work to do to improve in time for the last four, given that he threw away so many opportunities in this fixture. You get the sense that if Tsonga had of pushed a little harder earlier in the contest he might have got something from this. Full credit to Cilic, however, as he kept on in there after throwing away some really disappointing chances to seal things early.
That is going to be it from me this evening, but do keep an eye out on the website for more live action as we will be covering that massive clash between the Williams sisters with full game-by-game updates. Take care!