marin čilić.jpg
Photograph: EPA/KIYOSHI OTA

David Goffin defeated Marin Cilic 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 on Thursday to reach his first career Masters 1000 semi-final with the victory at Indian Wells.

Goffin, the Belgian 15th seed, was the first between the pair to advance this far in the elite ATP series.

2014 US Open winner Cilic became the second straight grand slam champion victim for Goffin, who put out French Open holder Stan Wawrinka in the previous round.

"I knew that my level was there," Goffin said.

"I knew I had to stay focussed on what I had to do - to play in a big stadium against Marin, a player who I beat two weeks ago in Davis Cup. I was really confident, and I was focussed on my plan and not thinking about the semi-final."

The win in just under an hour and three-quarters was the second for Goffin over Cilic, who wore a large strapping on his right knee but insisting it was more precautionary than therapeutic.

Gofin saved four set points in the 12th game of the opening set, taking it into a winning tiebreaker.

Cilic stands 12-8 in a so-so season, while Goffin improved to 12-4. Cilic had ended an 11-match losing streak against top 10 players as he beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the fourth round.

But the Croatian still stands at 0-8 in Masters 1000 quarter-finals.

"I knew that against Marin it's gonna be a battle of serves," Goffin said.

"I knew that on my serve I had to battle to win every service game, because sometimes he can serve bombs and in 10 seconds can win his games. I had to be focused on my service games. At the end I stayed focused in the tiebreak. It was the key of the match to win the first set and be more relaxed in the second to play much better."

In a later match, Canadian Milos Raonic was facing Gael Monfils in the bottom half of the draw at the Tennis Garden.

In the women's quarters, Czech Karolina Pliskova beat promising Russian teenaged newcomer Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-2 and will next play the winner from 13th seed Victoria Azarenka and Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova.

"I was really happy with the way I played the singles. It was one of the best matches that I've played here so far," Pliskova said. "I played some good tennis this week, so I have chances to go and improve the ranking and get close to top 10 again."

Latest news

Alphabet's self-driving car company sues Uber over alleged theft

Alphabet's self-driving car company Waymo said Thursday it was suing Uber and its subsidiary Otto for allegedly stealing its technology and infringing its patents.

US, Mexico take "important steps" even as Trump voices indifference

Top US and Mexican diplomatic and security officials met on Thursday in Mexico City, as President Donald Trump in Washington expressed ambivalence about relations with the United States' southern neighbour.

US Supreme Court's Ginsberg emphasizes value of free press

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed optimism about the political future of the United States despite the polarized and combative political atmosphere that has marked the fledgling presidency of Donald Trump.

Top Trump aide Bannon points to promises kept, media fight

Top White House strategist Steve Bannon said Thursday US President Donald Trump is keeping the promises he made during his campaign on issues from immigration to job creation.

Le Pen promises independent foreign policy, autonomous defence

Marine Le Pen promised Thursday that if elected president of France she would ensure it had a truly independent foreign policy as well as an autonomous capacity for self-defence.

Slovenia for ending lawsuits against Ljubljanska Banka

Croatia is infringing the memorandum of understanding signed with Slovenia in 2013 which they interpret differently, the Slovenian Embassy said on Thursday after a hearing at a Zagreb court in a suit which Croatia's PBZ bank filed against Slovenia's Ljubljanska Banka (LB) and Nova Ljubljanska Bank (NLB) over transferred foreign currency savings.

Marin Pucar appointed as new CEO in Podravka food concern

Marin Pucar is the new Management Board chairman of the Podravka food concern and will take the helm of the company after Zvonimir Mrsic's term expires at midnight on Thursday.

Croatian MEP says Moscow wants to influence in western Balkans

Croatian MEP Ivan Jakovcic said in an interview with the Montenegrin Pobjeda daily on Thursday that Moscow is trying to exploit the political forces in Montenegro and that Russia's meddling in Montenegro's internal affairs was "unacceptable behaviour."

New York Times launches brand campaign for 'The Truth' with Oscars ad

The New York Times is using Sunday's Academy Awards show to launch an advertising drive with an ad spot that capitalizes on President Donald Trump's confrontational relationship with the paper and other mainstream media.

Gambia charges former spy chief with murder of opposition leader

The former head of the Gambian national intelligence agency has been charged with the murder of an opposition youth leader who died in detention last year.

Dutch populist Wilders won't publicly campaign after security fiasco

The Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) won't make public appearances in support of its election campaign after a security official assigned to protect party founder Geert Wilders was detained by police.

Peace Implementation Council Steering Board calls for defusing tensions in Bosnia

The Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) met on Thursday, expressing the international community's concern about the situation in the country and calling on local politicians to act rationally to prevent an escalation of the crisis after a motion was submitted to review an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling in BiH's case against Serbia for genocide.