Marin Cilic of Croatia
Marin Cilic of Croatia celebrates after winning a point in the fifth set against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France during their quarterfinals match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 8, 2015. Reuters/Carlo Allegri

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France came back from two sets down and forced a fifth set but could not complete the comeback bid falling to defending champion Marin Cilic of Croatia in the quarterfinals of the 2015 US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.

The Croatian won 6-4 6-4 3-6 6-7 (3) 6-4 after about three hours and a half and became the first semifinalist of the last Grand Slam tournament of the year.

The 2014 US Open will next face World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who beat Feliciano Lopez of Spain in four sets, 6-1 3-6 6-3 7-6 (2).

Cilic got the first two sets, thanks to a couple of break points in each but Tsonga started attacking more in the next two sets, converting 13 of 20 net points. In the fifth set, Cilic fired seven aces and 18 winners to notch finish off the Frenchman.

“It was very demanding. As I mentioned, very difficult match psychologically, as well. Two sets to up -- two sets to zero -- I lost my words," Cilic shared in the post-game interview via the tournament’s official website. “To lose the fourth set like that after three-and-a-half hours, whatever, it was very, very difficult. Extremely tough conditions today.”

Cilic beat Kei Nishikori of Japan in last year’s final, in straight sets, 6–3 6–3 6–3. It was the Croatian’s first and only Grand Slam title in his career.

The two other semifinal slots will be decided in the matches between Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland) versus Kevin Anderson (South Africa) and Richard Gasquet (France) versus Roger Federer (Switzerland).

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