A business-like Marin Cilic defused the firepower of Kyle Edmund before crushing the ailing Briton 6-2, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 to reach his first Australian Open final.
Cilic, the world number six, was relentless under the lights at Rod Laver Arena, unleashing a barrage of 32 winners to end Edmund’s dream run with a stinging defeat in two hours and 18 minutes.
An agitated Edmund took a medical time-out after losing the first set and hobbled through the latter part of the match before surrendering meekly after a massive serve from Cilic.
Cilic, the 2014 US Open winner, will meet either defending champion Roger Federer or South Korean rising star Hyeon Chung for the title in Sunday night’s final.
The victory ensures Cilic will finish the tournament at a career-high ranking of number three, regardless of the result in his third final at a major.
Bidding to become just the fourth Briton to make a major singles final in the Open era — and the third at Melbourne Park — Edmund struggled with nerves in the biggest match of his career.