The 23-year-old Briton lost 6-2, 7-6, 6-2 after taking a lengthy medical time-out at the end of the first set. At times he struggled to cope with the sheer weight and consistency of his opponent’s ball-striking.
Cilic, the world No 6, is one of the game’s big hitters and although Edmund hit some cracking forehands there were times when the world No 49 was simply overpowered.
The two men were playing for the right to meet either Roger Federer or Hyeon Chung — who play the second semi-final tomorrow — in Sunday’s final. Cilic now joins Stan Wawrinka as the only player outside the game’s “Big Four” — Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Djokovic — to reach the final since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga finished runner-up in 2008.